Bangs and Whimpers: Black Youth and the Courts, No. 3, 1975
BRUCE McM. WRIGHT
Judge Bruce McM. Wright wrote this piece from his perspective as a Black judge on the New York City Bench.
Less cruel than Newgate, more antiseptic than Bedlam and not quite as dank as the Bastille, the country's prisons for juveniles and youthful offenders are nevertheless an accurate reflection of a harsh and unremitting temper and mood now rampant in adult America. Bearing such English county names as Spofford and Callagy Hall, the dungeons for puberty in New York City recall the cruelties of the sixties when Southern sheriffs herded Black children into makeshift corrals.
Victims of incest, sometimes by the age of five; called criminals for truancy as they flee teachers who do not teach; pictured as riotous, fun-loving and violently destructive in Black exploitation films such as Cooley High; the butt of such benign neglect (as Patrick Moynihan