The Gleaner from Henderson, Kentucky (2024)

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is painful, and this one is going to have some growing pains to get through she said in March. Project Continued from Page 1A The driver, who has not been pub- licly reportedly consented to sobriety tests. Russell told the Courier Press that as of Tuesday af- ternoon, no charges had been in connection with the incident. Houston can be contacted at hous- ton.harwood@courierpress.com Driver Continued from Page 1A TALLAHASSEE, Fla. At 13 years old, Joe Sullivan was told he would die in prison.

The life came crash- ing down around him after he was con- victed and sentenced to life in prison for robbing and sexually assaulting a wom- an with a group of friends. worry, said the 48-year-old Sullivan, who has a docu- mented mental disability, in an attempt to console his mother while she cried at his sentencing hearing. be free real And after a lengthy appeal that made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court a ruling that later set precedent for all juveniles facing similar Sullivan got a reprieve from a life behind bars, being freed 28 years later. But not before being scarred by Flori- state prison system.

Statewide statistics show that more and more children across Florida are be- ing thrown into the adult criminal jus- tice system each year. According to the Florida Department of Juvenile Jus- Delinquency 798 juveniles were arrested and treated as an adult at least once in 2022-2023, up from 769 in 2021-2022. Children can enter the adult system either by a judicial waiver, which is when a child starts in the juvenile sys- tem then is transferred to the adult sys- tem, or is by prosecutors, meaning their case is heard in adult court from the start. is something that is pervasive in our community right said Jessica Yeary, the elected public defender for the Second Judicial Circuit. Typically, children in adult prisons are locked away in solitary until they turn 18 as a means to protect them from other inmates.

But while be- ing housed separately may sound safer, it is severely restricting and mentally detrimental, Yeary said. Every time Sullivan rolls up his sleeves, the scars lining his forearms from when he cut himself to get serve as reminders of the darker years he lived through. Punishment vs. rehabilitation Children sometimes make decisions based on a lack of maturity, Yeary said, but the goal of the system be to in- grain in minds that they good for anything other than spending their life in a cell. The juvenile system is supposed to be rehabilitative through counseling and programming, she said.

But the adult system is punitive in nature, and the goal is punishment. just so much more vulnera- ble and susceptible to the harsh reality of she said. Locking up a child increases the chance of delinquent behavior. In fact, Yeary said, children through the adult system are more likely to end up back in prison with more violent of- fenses than those prosecuted in the ju- venile system. In Florida, the state attorney has sole discretion over whether the child will be directly into the adult system or re- take his life by cutting himself and hanging himself.

But with every failed attempt, Sullivan said he heard God speaking to him: not going to In 2009, it all changed. The high court agreed to hear case after an appeals court upheld his original con- viction. His attorney argued that sen- tencing a juvenile to life in prison with- out the possibility of parole was consid- ered cruel and unusual punishment and violates the Eighth Amendment. A year later, the SCOTUS justices agreed. His case was one of two landmark court cases that successfully argued a life sentence was unconstitutional for a juvenile that committed a non-homi- cide am a for greater change, he said.

Changed lives and second chances When Sullivan was released from prison in 2017, he said it feel real. A few years later, he became the resident to move into the Joseph House, a Catholic ministry and reentry home for former prisoners in Tallahassee, Florida, when it opened in 2019. And within the last month, new moved into the home who were recently released from adult insti- tutions after going into the system as children just like Sullivan. Martez Royal, of Jacksonville, Flori- da, got out of prison April 18 after being sentenced to 10 years for robbery and battery on a responder at 16 years old. Elijah Pippin, of Tallahassee, got out of prison April 26 after being sen- tenced to four years for robbery, kidnap- ping, grand theft of a motor vehicle and burglary of an occupied dwelling at 17 years old.

Royal, 25, was in and out of solitary throughout his 10 years. Pippin, 21, started out in solitary con- for four months, and he said it drove him crazy. He said it was inhu- mane and like putting a dog in a cage. But they both said there were good people in prison who they each looked to as mentors during the time they served. main in the juvenile system.

we do our part to very much ad- vocate for children in this way to ac- knowledge the harsh reality of the adult system and to advocate for the trauma that gone through, the adverse childhood experiences in their she said. am a During his trial, Sullivan took re- sponsibility for his role in the robbery, but his attorneys argued his innocence in the assault, saying his friends also in- volved in the crime were the ones who committed the assault and pinned it on Sullivan. But a six-person jury decided in a day he was guilty on all counts. From that point on, life would never be the same, as prison slowly drained his physical and mental well being. Sul- livan saw violent beatings, stabbings and even murders in prison, each one leaving a lasting impression.

And over time, Sullivan developed multiple sclerosis that doctors attribut- ed to the trauma of prison and the wrong prescription of anxiety medica- tions, eventually leaving him bound to a wheelchair. At his lowest points, Sullivan tried to Ex-inmates rebuilding lives on outside after being locked up for years Elena Barrera Tallahassee Democrat USA TODAY NETWORK FLORIDA Joe Sullivan, 48, was sentenced to life in prison when he was 13. In 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear case after an appeals court upheld his original conviction. ALICIA DEMOCRAT kind of changed my The Biden administration recently announced that it has invested a record $16 billion in historically Black colleges and universities over the past three years.

The administration announced the record investment on May 16, days be- fore commencement speech at Morehouse College, one of the most revered African-American aca- demic institutions. historic funding levels dem- onstrate the ongoing commitment to the White House said in a news release. USA TODAY looked at how that mon- ey has been spent and how the record investment compares to predominantly white universities. Over the past three years, the federal government has invested nearly $4 bil- lion in HBCUs through the American Rescue Plan and other COVID relief leg- islation. The Department of Education has in- vested $2.6 billion to build institutional capacity at HBCUs.

According to the Bi- den administration, sup- port the growth and sustainability of HBCU degree programs; increase and enhance human, technological, and physical infrastructure for research; strengthen positioning to secure direct partnership opportunities; and create sustainable fund Over $1.6 billion has been invested through federal grants, cooperative agreements, and competitive funding Investments of nearly $950 million support HBCUs in growing research capacity and related infrastructure, and almost $719 million in grant funding aims to expand STEM academic capacity and educational pro- grams. Over $150 million in federal contract- ing opportunities were awarded to HBCUs, including for research and ex- pansion of STEM education programs at the Department of Health and Hu- man Services, Department of Transpor- tation, Department of Energy, and the U.S. Agency for International Develop- ment. Over $2.4 million in Project SERV funds were invested to support HBCUs by more than a dozen bomb threats in 2022. Other investments included $2.8 bil- lion in need-based grants and other fed- eral programs, including Pell Grants, Federal Work-Study and Supplemental Grants, Educational Opportunity $1.6 billion in capital debt relief for 45 public and private HBCUs, and nearly $1.3 billion to support veterans attending HBCUs through the GI bill and other college, graduate school, and training programs.

Under federal law, historically Black land-grant universities are to receive equitable funding with land-grant uni- versities that are predominantly white. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack sent joint letters to 16 state governors, addressing funding disparities that to- taled $13 billion for 16 historically Black land grant universities. According to Inside Higher Ed, be- tween 1987 and 2020, 16 state funded in- stitutions had funding gaps ranging from $172 million to $2.14 billion, in comparison with predominantly white land-grant universities. Contributing: Marc Ramirez Saleen Martin, USA TODAY HBCUs get historic $16B federal investment Funding had dropped $20 million from 2002-2019 Sara Chernikoff USA TODAY The Biden administration announced the record investment before the president gave the commencement address at Morehouse College on Sunday. ANDREW CABALLERO- VIA GETTY IMAGES.

The Gleaner from Henderson, Kentucky (2024)

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