Destructive Justice : A Lost Boy, a Broken System and the Small Light of Hope
Overview - Nothing about Nathan Frank's early childhood hints at the devastating future that lay ahead for him. The popular second born son of a middle class family in Southern California, Nathan is a generous, intelligent, inventive and charismatic kid whose bold love for life seems to promise an extraordinary future. Read more...
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More About Destructive Justice by Nicholas Frank
Nothing about Nathan Frank's early childhood hints at the devastating future that lay ahead for him. The popular second born son of a middle class family in Southern California, Nathan is a generous, intelligent, inventive and charismatic kid whose bold love for life seems to promise an extraordinary future. With the advent of adolescence, however, Nathan's world begins to unravel. Trips into normal adolescent defiance and confusion from which most of us return relatively unscathed do not stop for Nathan at the expected terminals. Instead, his ride relentlessly gathers speed until his adolescence becomes a runaway train of drug abuse, delinquency and ultimately membership in a criminal street gang. The institutions that should be sources of support and strength, including his family, friends, schools, sports, counselors and others seem only stoke the coals for his headlong rush into self-destruction. As he drives ever deeper into an abyss, his family futilely chases him, trying to pull him back before it is too late. In spite of all efforts, Nathan runs off the rails at full throttle, ultimately coming to a hard stop when he finds himself staring at the business end of Officer Trejo's sidearm. At seventeen years old, Nathan Frank is arrested for his participation in a botched robbery. Amazingly, even though no one is harmed during the crime, he is tried as an adult and sentenced to 32 years, plus two consecutive life sentences. But that is not the end, nor is it the entirety of Nathan Frank's story. How does a juvenile who does not hurt anyone end up being sentenced to multiple life terms in prison? The answer lies in the inhumane spirit that is pervasive throughout our justice system. With a near single focus on punishment and condemnation, our justice system incarcerates more people per capita than any country in history, by a long shot. The cost is enormous, but the benefits are slight as our crime rates exceed those of most developed countries and our rates of r
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