Mother wants to stop juveniles from being held in adult jails

1 year 3 months 3 weeks ago December 02, 2015 Dec 2, 2015 Wednesday, December 02 2015 Wednesday, December 02, 2015 7:20:00 PM CST in News
By: Nick Komisar, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - A Missouri lawmaker has pre-filed Senate Bill 618 to be reviewed in the 2016 legislative session, which is set to begin Jan. 6. The bill aims to outlaw holding youth suspects under the age of 17 in adult facilities until they are sentenced to adult prison. 

In Missouri, if a juvenile is charged and certified as an adult, then he or she is held in adult facilities. 

Tracy McClard started the organization Family and Friends Organizing for Reform of Juvenile Justice (FORJ-MO). She started the organization after her 17-year-old committed suicide while being held in an adult facility. He had been in an adult facility since the age of 16, after pleading guilty to shooting someone. 

McClard said her son faced both physical and emotional abuse while being held in the facility and said the fact he was a minor made him an easy target. 

"He was brutalized, he was beaten, he was terrified, he was placed in solitary confinement until finally he died," McClard said. 

"They become targets, they are usually targeted sexually or physically within the first 48 hours," McClard said about juveniles being held in county jails. "And all of that happened to Jonathon."

A similar bill was filed last year but did not pass because of funding concerns. Juvenile facilities provide services that many adult facilities do not.

McClard said many facilities continue the kids' educations, as well as offer extensive psychological services. This means extra funding is needed for these programs if more juveniles will be held in such facilities. 

Joy Knopf shares a similar sentiment to McClard. Her son was charged with 2nd degree murder at the age of 15 and a judge certified him as an adult. 

"He was taken immediately to jail, where he wasn't segregated from adults," Knopf said. "He was in fact harmed while he was in there, at the point that his attorney contacted the jail to address that and ask for help. They took my son and put him in solitary confinement for two weeks." 

Knopf's son is currently in prison serving a 30-year sentence.

FORJ-MO is also working to get a bill passed that would raise the age someone can be automatically charged as an adult to 18. It is currently 17.

Both Knopf and McClard said their motivation is not their own children, it is to make sure other kids do not have to go through the same experiences. 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - During his time as athletic director at the University of Missouri Mike Alden oversaw a little bit of... More >>
1 hour ago March 26, 2017 Mar 26, 2017 Sunday, March 26 2017 Sunday, March 26, 2017 2:35:00 PM CDT in Sports
ST. LOUIS (AP) — About 1,000 of St. Louis' delinquent properties are expected to face the wrecking ball to create... More >>
2 hours ago March 26, 2017 Mar 26, 2017 Sunday, March 26 2017 Sunday, March 26, 2017 1:13:10 PM CDT in News
OZARK, Mo . (AP) — A southwestern Missouri man is accused of sexual misconduct involving a teenager who investigators say... More >>
3 hours ago March 26, 2017 Mar 26, 2017 Sunday, March 26 2017 Sunday, March 26, 2017 12:20:00 PM CDT in Continuous News
FORSYTH, Mo . (AP) — Authorities said a southern Missouri man told investigators he was either sleepwalking or dreaming when... More >>
5 hours ago March 26, 2017 Mar 26, 2017 Sunday, March 26 2017 Sunday, March 26, 2017 10:25:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Officers said a suspect is on the run after a robbery at an Extended Stay America Saturday night.... More >>
17 hours ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 10:39:11 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A hearing for Sturgeon Police Chief Greg Halderman will take place on Monday. On the week of... More >>
20 hours ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 7:16:00 PM CDT in News
LINN - State Technical College in Linn opened up its campus to recruit prospective students and to show off what... More >>
23 hours ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 4:49:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Fire Protection District said Saturday it is conducting a search and rescue at the Katfish... More >>
23 hours ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 4:37:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Two men each are jailed on $750,000 bond after being accused in connection with the St.... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 3:38:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Two semi trucks and two cars were part of a wreck Saturday that closed westbound I-70. The... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 3:23:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Republican-led Missouri Legislature will get back to a business-friendly agenda when it returns from... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 12:35:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis man has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 10:54:00 AM CDT in News
CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — An activist who helped shut down a St. Louis-area freeway during protests commemorating the first anniversary... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 10:45:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police say a 15-year-old boy was killed and six other people were critically wounded... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 10:41:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – A group of local artists hosted a fundraiser Friday night, giving people people the chance to view works... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 5:40:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Columbia businesses are coming together to encourage community members to lead healthy and balanced lives. Keystone Chiropractic... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 5:28:00 AM CDT in News
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — Officials in a Kansas City suburb where a fire destroyed a multimillion-dollar apartment building under... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 4:30:30 AM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Police say a man arrived at a Missouri hospital with his lips apparently glued together after coming... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 4:19:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 58°
4pm 57°
5pm 57°
6pm 58°
7pm 59°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

2:00p
PGA Tour Golf
6:00p
Little Big Shots
7:00p
Little Big Shots
1:30p
Mommie Dearest
4:00p
La Bamba
6:00p
Mystic Pizza

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Little Big Shots
8:00p
Chicago Justice
9:00p
Shades of Blue
6:00p
Mystic Pizza
8:00p
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld