still in the news

Although the case of Paul Henry Gingerich is settled and not currently active in the courts, it continues to command the attention of media in Indiana because of the changes in state law that it brought about. This is a story that ran last Wednesday on WRTV-6, the ABC affiliate in Indianapolis.



Should juvenile offenders serve time in adult prison?

by Chris Proffitt, WRTV

July 16, 2014

Indiana judges are using a change in state laws to keep juvenile offenders sentenced as adults out of adult prisons.Paul Gingerich was only 12 when he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder and he is believed to be the youngest person in Indiana ever sentenced to prison as an adult. Now at age16, he’s in a juvenile detention facility, but has since become the de facto face of children sentenced to serve time in adult prisons.

Attorney Monica Foster represented Gingerich’s case.

“When we’re sending children, babies in some instances, to adult prison, what we’re really doing is saying they’re throw-away kids; that there’s nothing we can do to help them,” Foster said.

In 2011, 53 Indiana juveniles were serving time in adult prisons.

The Head of Youth Services for the Indiana Department of Correction said that juveniles don’t belong in adult prisons and the state has moved to try to keep them out of the system.

“‘It gives them the leeway to send kids to juvenile facilities where they’re at or least not rubbing elbows with hardened adult criminals,” Foster said.

In many cases, children that commit heinous crimes are given a second chance to avoid spending their early lives in adult prisons.

To see the story as it was broadcast, please click here.


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3 Responses to “still in the news”

  1. July 19, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    It is always good to see that things are moving positively. It is to hope that the last States who have not such kind of legislation will change their laws in a manner more favorable for juvenile offenders. And, why not, send these youths automatically in juvenile facilities instead send them directly in an adult prison.

    • 2 Bob H
      July 21, 2014 at 1:52 pm

      I agree. It is crazy to send kids immediately to adult prisons, even within a youth wing. But there was a disquieting comment I read that there is an economic advantage to counties to do so, since they have to part-fund juvenile facilities per detainee but not state facilities. There is an economic incentive to waiving kids as adults.

  2. 3 Gloria
    July 22, 2014 at 12:28 am

    The truth is america builds prisons faster tan schools. That’s what happens when you create prison for profits…., it demands for prisoners.
    When a child is waived to adult prison is not about justice, becase obviously there is not justice about prosecuting children as adults, it is about profit and of course politics. In the end is in the USA where the almighty dollar rules every area of life. When a child is waived to adult prison and is seen all over the media, look at the fact that the prosecutor who wants the waiver is running for the prosecution seat.

    QUOTED: Am I crazy in thinking this is so obviously wrong? I really struggle to think how a person at any stage of this process is OK with sending a child to prison with adults


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