Latesha, Sentencing Youth as Adults, and the Hypocrisy of How We Talk About Children

/, Call to action/Latesha, Sentencing Youth as Adults, and the Hypocrisy of How We Talk About Children

Latesha, Sentencing Youth as Adults, and the Hypocrisy of How We Talk About Children

On January 11th, in Kent County, Michigan, Latesha, a 15-year-old African-American girl and mother to two toddlers, was sentenced in an adult court to 9 years in jail for being used as bait in a scheme to rob men responding to a Backpage escort ad placed for her. After men met Latesha at a motel and gave her money for sexual services,  two older teens would show up rob the men using a fake gun.

SWOP-USA members and board share outrage at the injustice that has already been voiced by the sex worker community. As others have already pointed out, Latesha, as a minor advertised for commercial sex, meets the Michigan state definition of a human trafficking victim. Similarly, the men who were robbed committed several state felonies when they agreed to pay for sex from a minor, an act that is now federally defined as human trafficking.

 These laws were created from the belief that all youth in the sex trade are victims and all men who solicit sex from a minor are perpetrators. Why, then, was Latesha treated as a perpetrator and charged in an adult court? Why weren’t the men who had solicited and paid to have sex with her? And worse, Michigan has no statutory requirements to try minors as adults–so why did prosecution specifically petition to have Latesha tried there?

This injustice, as well as many similar ones, affirm what organizations like Incite have been saying for years: that new anti-trafficking laws are constructed to arrest black men and halt migration, not save black children and immigrant women. That a judge would give an 9-20 year sentence to a vulnerable 15 year old girl with a complicated life who played a marginal role in the robbery of men attempting to committed state and federal sex offenses against a minor (Michigan banned mandatory minimum sentences last summer) suggests that all the energy funneled towards trafficking awareness and legal reform is ultimately failing the people this energy is intended to help: public awareness campaigns dramatizing perfect (often white) victims are distorting our understanding of sex trafficking to the extent that we can’t recognize a real (and fairly typical) victim; and immunity and record relief remedies for minors, if restricted to minors in the sex trade and prostitution charges alone, fail to adequately help most youth in the sex trade, who are criminalized in multiple ways for, essentially, just trying to survive.

Latesha also serves as a reminder of the injustice of the juvenile justice system in America. Latesha is one of an estimated 250,000 youth tried, sentenced or incarcerated as adults each year. She is also one of roughly 10,000 minors in an adult prison or jail today.  Among high-income nations, the United States’ practice of sentencing youth as adults, mandatory minimums sentences, and excruciatingly long sentencing lengths is an outlier…and an aberration. Sentencing any of the teens who participated in the robbery, least of all Latesha, to time in adult prisons is an injustice.

Latesha’s sentencing is also a glaring reminder of race and class disparities in sentencing. Minority youth are far more likely to be arrested, and subsequently far more likely to be tried in adult courts, convicted in those courts, and incarcerated than white youth.  And had Latesha been white and middle-class, well, it’s likely she wouldn’t have needed to engage in survival crimes to support herself and her children.

*******

What You Can Do

COYOTE and SWOP-USA are working on researching concrete ways to support Latesha. We will update you with further information as it becomes available. In the meantime, COYOTE director Bella Robinson, who has been in touch with Latesha and offers the following action items:

1.) Sign the Change.org petition requesting clemency or an appeal, organized by the Survivors Connect Network.

 

2.) Donate to Latesha’s fundraiser. This will go to help Latesha’s older sister take care of her two babies, go to her commissary and help her buy books. She loves music and is trying to save up for an mp3 player right now.

By |2017-01-25T05:19:05+00:00March 1st, 2016|Categories: Blogs, Call to action|40 Comments

About the Author:

40 Comments

  1. Bella Robinson March 31, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    Latasha Clay could use some support. I got a letter from her yesterday and she says I have been the only person who is writing, sending money and books to her.

    http://www.swopusa.org/latesha-sentencing-youth-as-adults-and-the-hypocrisy-of-anti-trafficking-rhetoric-practice/

  2. Katherine Margaret April 1, 2016 at 4:20 am

    Hi –

    This is Katherine! This is really concerning… We have had 7 books from the “wishlist” sent to her, and I personally wrote a letter and sent a half-dozen coloring books to her through Amazon.com. I know other SWOP BOD members have also written to her, so huh. I’m going to check and see if the Amazon books were successfully delivered now.

  3. minecraft October 4, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    Hola! I’ve been reading your weblog for some time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and
    give you a shout out from Lubbock Tx! Just wanted to tell you keep up the good work!

  4. minecraft October 4, 2018 at 10:59 pm

    Hey there I am so excited I found your weblog, I really found you by mistake,
    while I was searching on Bing for something else, Regardless I am here now and
    would just like to say thanks a lot for a fantastic post and a all round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design),
    I don’t have time to read through it all at the moment but I have bookmarked it and also included your RSS feeds,
    so when I have time I will be back to read
    a great deal more, Please do keep up the great
    jo.

  5. minecraft October 6, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    Great blog you’ve got here.. It’s difficult to find excellent writing like
    yours nowadays. I truly appreciate individuals like you!
    Take care!!

  6. minecraft October 7, 2018 at 3:08 am

    Have you ever considered about including a little
    bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is fundamental and all.
    However imagine if you added some great pictures or videos
    to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with pics and videos, this site could certainly be one of the greatest in its field.
    Wonderful blog!

  7. minecraft free download 2018 October 8, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    Peculiar article, totally what I wanted to find.

  8. minecraft free download 2018 October 9, 2018 at 10:19 pm

    First of all I would like to say superb blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you do not mind.
    I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your thoughts before writing.
    I have had a hard time clearing my mind in getting my ideas out.

    I do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the first
    10 to 15 minutes are wasted simply just trying to figure out how
    to begin. Any suggestions or hints? Many thanks!

  9. minecraft free download 2018 October 10, 2018 at 3:06 am

    I think this is among the most vital information for me.
    And i’m glad reading your article. However should statement on few general issues,
    The web site taste is ideal, the articles is in point of fact excellent
    : D. Just right activity, cheers

  10. Coconut Oil Benefits October 19, 2018 at 9:55 pm

    Great delivery. Great arguments. Keep up the amazing work.

  11. Health Benefits of Coconut Oil October 23, 2018 at 10:40 am

    Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads
    up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading correctly.
    I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different web browsers and both show the
    same results.

  12. longchamp handbags October 26, 2018 at 2:00 am

    I wanted to compose a brief comment to be able to thank you for all of the superb advice you are giving out on this website. My rather long internet investigation has now been recognized with extremely good details to exchange with my pals. I ‘d declare that most of us visitors are unequivocally blessed to dwell in a fantastic site with many wonderful people with interesting secrets. I feel somewhat fortunate to have discovered the webpage and look forward to many more amazing minutes reading here. Thank you once again for all the details.

  13. yeezy boost October 26, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    I want to express my affection for your generosity in support of men who require help on the idea. Your special dedication to passing the solution all through has been remarkably productive and has usually made most people like me to reach their aims. Your new interesting hints and tips can mean a lot a person like me and even further to my fellow workers. Thank you; from all of us.

  14. yeezy boost 350 October 27, 2018 at 12:54 am

    I am just writing to make you know of the amazing experience my princess had using your site. She came to understand plenty of issues, not to mention what it is like to possess an amazing giving spirit to have others without problems learn a variety of grueling issues. You actually surpassed her desires. Many thanks for displaying these priceless, safe, explanatory and also unique guidance on that topic to Mary.

  15. kobe 11 October 27, 2018 at 10:29 pm

    I enjoy you because of all of your hard work on this site. Kate really loves carrying out investigations and it’s really easy to understand why. A lot of people notice all about the powerful ways you offer great ideas on your web site and as well as recommend response from other individuals on that issue then our favorite simple princess is in fact understanding a lot of things. Have fun with the remaining portion of the new year. You are always doing a fantastic job.

  16. air jordan shoes October 28, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    I and also my buddies came reviewing the best suggestions on your site then quickly I got a terrible feeling I never thanked the web blog owner for them. Those women are already as a result stimulated to see all of them and have in effect actually been enjoying these things. We appreciate you being really accommodating and also for making a decision on this kind of notable useful guides millions of individuals are really eager to be aware of. My honest regret for not saying thanks to you sooner.

  17. air jordan 11 October 29, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    I’m commenting to let you know of the fabulous discovery my princess had visiting your web site. She realized a lot of details, including what it’s like to have an amazing giving style to get many more easily know just exactly specified specialized subject matter. You really did more than readers’ expectations. Many thanks for presenting such informative, trustworthy, educational not to mention fun thoughts on your topic to Sandra.

  18. moncler outlet October 30, 2018 at 6:18 am

    I intended to compose you one little bit of word in order to thank you over again on your striking things you’ve contributed above. It has been simply wonderfully open-handed with you giving unhampered all a number of us could possibly have offered for an e book to end up making some profit on their own, notably given that you might well have done it if you ever decided. These suggestions likewise acted to become a great way to fully grasp other people have the identical dreams much like my personal own to grasp more and more with regard to this problem. Certainly there are lots of more pleasant periods up front for those who read your website.

  19. balenciaga shoes October 31, 2018 at 2:06 am

    My wife and i felt quite ecstatic that Emmanuel could conclude his inquiry because of the ideas he came across in your web page. It’s not at all simplistic to simply continually be freely giving methods which people may have been trying to sell. We really know we need the blog owner to be grateful to for this. The specific explanations you have made, the simple site navigation, the relationships you will make it easier to promote – it is all fantastic, and it is helping our son in addition to us understand the idea is thrilling, and that is highly indispensable. Thank you for everything!

  20. adidas ultra boost October 31, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    I needed to put you a little word so as to say thanks a lot again over the stunning secrets you’ve featured on this site. It’s pretty open-handed with you to offer freely exactly what a lot of people would have supplied as an e book to earn some cash for their own end, most importantly considering that you could have done it in case you desired. The ideas as well acted to become a great way to be aware that the rest have similar interest like my very own to understand great deal more related to this matter. I’m sure there are millions of more pleasurable periods ahead for individuals that read carefully your blog.

  21. kobe byrant shoes October 31, 2018 at 9:54 pm

    I in addition to my buddies appeared to be looking at the excellent tips and tricks found on your web page while before long developed a terrible suspicion I had not expressed respect to the site owner for them. All of the boys were certainly joyful to read them and have now pretty much been tapping into them. Thank you for really being indeed kind and also for having this sort of outstanding subjects millions of individuals are really wanting to be informed on. My personal sincere regret for not expressing appreciation to you earlier.

  22. michael kors November 1, 2018 at 6:05 pm

    I’m writing to let you be aware of what a beneficial discovery my girl went through using yuor web blog. She came to understand numerous things, which include how it is like to have an amazing coaching mood to get many people clearly know chosen multifaceted subject areas. You really surpassed her expected results. I appreciate you for offering the insightful, safe, revealing as well as easy guidance on the topic to Gloria.

  23. birkin bag November 2, 2018 at 10:38 am

    I would like to show my thanks to you for rescuing me from this particular trouble. After exploring throughout the world-wide-web and meeting basics which were not beneficial, I assumed my entire life was done. Being alive devoid of the strategies to the difficulties you have fixed as a result of your main report is a crucial case, as well as the ones which could have badly damaged my career if I hadn’t come across your web blog. Your own personal ability and kindness in controlling almost everything was valuable. I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t come upon such a stuff like this. I am able to at this moment look ahead to my future. Thanks a lot so much for your expert and effective help. I won’t hesitate to propose your web site to anybody who should have care on this area.

  24. paul george shoes November 3, 2018 at 7:58 am

    I not to mention my friends came studying the best techniques from your web blog while suddenly I got an awful feeling I never thanked the site owner for those tips. All the ladies appeared to be so passionate to study them and have in effect in actuality been having fun with these things. Many thanks for simply being considerably considerate and then for figuring out certain remarkable subjects most people are really desirous to understand about. Our own sincere apologies for not expressing gratitude to sooner.

  25. moncler jackets November 4, 2018 at 6:00 am

    Needed to put you one tiny word to be able to say thank you the moment again considering the remarkable views you have featured on this page. It has been extremely generous with people like you to provide without restraint precisely what many people might have advertised for an e book in order to make some profit for themselves, and in particular since you could have done it in the event you wanted. These pointers additionally worked like a easy way to realize that the rest have a similar keenness just like my own to know a great deal more with regards to this condition. I believe there are lots of more pleasant moments in the future for individuals that read your site.

  26. air max 270 November 5, 2018 at 2:22 am

    I and my pals were actually studying the excellent hints from your web site and then all of the sudden got a horrible feeling I never thanked the website owner for them. All of the boys happened to be so very interested to see them and have in effect absolutely been tapping into these things. We appreciate you being indeed considerate as well as for deciding upon varieties of beneficial subject areas most people are really wanting to be aware of. My personal sincere apologies for not expressing gratitude to sooner.

  27. Quest Bars Cheap November 6, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    Touche. Sound arguments. Keep up the great work.

  28. Quest Bars Cheap November 8, 2018 at 11:49 pm

    Thank you for every other fantastic post. Where else may anyone get that type of information in such an ideal method of writing?

    I’ve a presentation next week, and I am on the
    search for such information.

  29. What Equipment is Needed for Sling TV November 10, 2018 at 3:55 am

    Excellent post. I was checking constantly this blog and
    I’m impressed! Extremely helpful information specifically the last part 🙂 I care for such information a lot.
    I was looking for this certain info for a long time.
    Thank you and good luck.

  30. Sling TV November 11, 2018 at 8:47 pm

    Awesome issues here. I’m very satisfied to look
    your post. Thanks so much and I’m taking a look forward to contact you.
    Will you please drop me a e-mail?

  31. jual perabot murah November 12, 2018 at 5:24 am

    Yuk Jual perabot murah perabot murah murah murah

  32. jual perabot murah November 12, 2018 at 7:35 am

    ya ini dia Info ini yang paling baru dan paling update sekarang

  33. jual perabot murah November 12, 2018 at 8:25 am

    makan cakue paling enak di pagi hari yang cerah

  34. jual perabot murah November 12, 2018 at 9:10 am

    ayo sekarang pigi makan makan anghin dil uar aaja yayuk yuk ayo sekarang pigi makan makan anghin dil uar aaja ya

  35. jual perabot murah November 12, 2018 at 9:56 am

    anak baik sekarang ini sudah banyak loh kan baru tau kan?

  36. jual perabot murah November 12, 2018 at 10:41 am

    makanan saaat ini enak enak selali dan lezat

  37. jual perabot murah November 12, 2018 at 11:12 am

    ayo kita nah saaatnya makan cakue yang enak

  38. jual perabot murah November 12, 2018 at 11:53 am

    ayo lapar makan sajalah skarang sudah alapar

  39. jual perabot murah November 12, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    kenyang se\sudah makan adalah hal yang awajar

  40. jual perabot murah November 12, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    masa gak mau paling enak kalau makan jengkol sama pete

Leave A Comment

This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.

This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.