Juvie Justice in the 21st Century: The Cost of Confinement

210 McKnight West, WSU School of Art and Design

The United States holds more youth in detention facilities than any other country. In this working panel, recognized regional thinkers and doers provide short presentations on hot-button topics and successful programs, then lead smaller groups of audience members in discussion closing with a group question and answer.

With budget belts continuing to tighten as health and welfare costs increase, communities continue to define and refine the role and goals of state-run juvenile facilities. In Sedgwick County, how are we building safer communities through effective correctional services? What regional programs have proven compelling? How does Sedgwick County compare with the state and the nation in utilizing contemporary theories and practices? How will we break the school-to-prison pipeline of incarceration?


Moderator: Dr. Jodie Beeson, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, Wichita State University

Dr. Beeson holds a Ph.D. in Psychology, specializing in research methods and statistics. Her research interests include corrections, juvenile justice, and restorative justice. She consults for the Sedgwick County Department of Corrections and conducts program and system evaluations for Sedgwick County.

Benet Magnuson, Executive Director, Kansas Appleseed Center for Law and Justice

Dedicated to nonprofit advocacy on behalf of impoverished and excluded communities his January 21, 2014 testimony to the Kansas House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee outlined a specific plan for rebalancing Kansas' juvenile justice system.

Magnuson has worked as an attorney for the Texas Criminal Justice coalition, the Texas Access to Justice Commission, and national Appleseed's immigration financial justice project. His pro bono representations include immigration, criminal, public housing, domestic violence, and family law cases. As a certified mediator, Benet has conducted more than a hundred mediations of public housing, family, and small claims disputes and provided dispute resolution trainings to a wide range of clients, including a school district's special education department, a city's energy task force, a Boston roller derby league, public housing, and the United States military. While working in Texas, Benet founded PRISMS, a writing program for inmates in Texas jails. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.

Melody McCray-Miller, former Democratic representative, 89th House District, representing north central Wichita

Melody McCray-Miller has worked as a public school teacher in Wichita and has served as a Wichita city commissioner and on the local school board. She attended the University of Houston with a B.A. In Psychology, and received a secondary school teaching certificate from Wichita State University.

She serves on the Executive Board of Center for Health and Wellness, Advisory Board for Wichita Children's Home, and the Grant Chapel A.M.E. Steward Board. She is active in the Kansas Leadership Center, the Autism Task Force, the Kansas Advisory Group for Juvenile Justice, and the Coalition for Juvenile Justice Fundraising Committee National Organization.

McCray-Miller has been awarded Community Crusader, Teacher of the Year, Arthur Flemming Fellow, and Kansas Health Foundation Fellow.

As a member of the Kansas House of Representatives, Melody led the fight to better fund early childhood education across the state, reform Kansas' juvenile justice system, create more just annexation lows, and crack down on predatory lenders. She has supported legislations to expand health care and help small businesses grow and has been a long-time advocate for Kansas public schools. She served on the Kansas House Committees on Taxation, Children and Families, and Elections. She was the Ranking Democratic Member on the House committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice.

Nuri Nusrat, Program Associate, National Council on Crime and Delinquency

Nuri is dedicated to supporting communities in creating responses to harm that hold the humanity of all those involved, including the persons harmed, bystanders, and persons who harmed, that draw upon the resilience and assets of communities. She is a member of the Bay Area Transformative Justice Collaborative, a volunteer collective working to build transformative justice responses to child sexual abuse.

Prior to working at NCCD, Nuri worked with the national Mitigation Coordinator of the Federal Death Penalty project, where she consulted on the sentencing phase, federal capital cases and served as faculty at conference supporting capital defense lawyers. She is also trained in Defense Initiated Victim Outreach. Nuri has worked to support people and families involved in the criminal legal system for many years, from working with children of incarcerated parents at Project Avary to working to expunge criminal convictions while interning at the East Bay Community Law Center Clean Slate Clinic.

Nuri has a bachelor’s degree from UCLA in international development, a master’s degree in ethnic studies from San Francisco State University, and a J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law, where she was awarded a Public Interest/Public Service Scholarship.