A girl, only identified as Grace, recently just got out of juvenile detention. She had been there since May, when the judge in suburban Detroit sent her their for not doing her online homework. It was considered a violation of her parole.
The 15 yr old has been in trouble (and jail) before. But no one involved in the criminal justice system that talked to ProPublica.org had ever seen a sentence like this. Grace's mother thinks it's racial bias. Grace is black.
She has ADHD and told the news she was unmotivated and overwhelmed when school switched to online learning because of covid-19.
The judge sentenced her to detention, even though the state's governor asked the system to release all juveniles who weren't a menace to society, trying to stem the rising cases of covid.
Judge Mary Ellen Brennan had no comment on Grace’s case. In the ruling, she found Grace “guilty on failure to submit to any schoolwork and getting up for school” and called Grace a “threat to (the) community,” citing the assault/theft charges that led to her probation.
The assault charges came during a time last year when mother and daughter were in a tumultuous altercation. The mother was yelling for help while in her car, when Grace tried to grab her mother's phone and bit her hand.
The theft charge came from surveillance video a week later which showed Grace stealing another child's home.
Was not doing her homework enough of a probation violation to send her into juvi during the pandemic? Hmmm.