STATE OF OPPORTUNITY. Can Kids in Michigan Get Ahead?
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This special reporting project wrapped up in May 2017. Read more.

A cartoon about kids in prison might be a winner

It feels like  juvenile justice is getting more attention as of late, with reform efforts picking up steam.

There's the first federal case to end a school to prison pipeline in Mississippi, and a new book on the brazen corruption of judges who locked kids up in exchange for kickbacks in Pennsylvania.

The concern around kids in the justice system might turn out to be a cultural blip, in danger of being crowded out by national interest in something like gun or immigration reform.

But maybe not. The State of Opportunity team has been sending this short animation back and forth for about a week. Something about it seems to signal society might be willing to change the way we look at juvenile offenders. 

The video is part of a campaign called "Mistakes Kids Make" and is funded by theMacArthur Foundation. It's a powerful two-minute visual. The "kids" in the animation are stick figures. Nonetheless, they convey humanity and youth more effectively than any other campaign like this I've seen. One can't get away from thinking these stick figures,  because they don't look like somebody else's kids, could actually be our kids.

Do you think this is impactful? Is something changing in the way we look at the issue of juvenile justice? Sound off in the comments. 

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