Juvenile Injustice, Tennessee

Where Kids Meet the Rule of Law

Children in Rutherford County have been arrested and jailed at rates unparalleled in the state. We’re investigating how that happened — and other ways the justice system there singles out children.

Tennessee Children Were Illegally Jailed. Now Members of Congress Are Asking For an Investigation.

Government officials called Rutherford County’s juvenile justice system a “nightmare” that “boggles the mind.” They are demanding answers about why children were “unjustly searched, detained, charged, and imprisoned.”

Outrage Grows Over Jailing of Children as Tennessee University Cuts Ties With Judge Involved

In the days following a ProPublica and Nashville Public Radio report on juvenile justice in Rutherford County, the president of Middle Tennessee State University told staff Judge Donna Scott Davenport “is no longer affiliated with the University.”

Black Children Were Jailed for a Crime That Doesn’t Exist. Almost Nothing Happened to the Adults in Charge.

Judge Donna Scott Davenport oversees a juvenile justice system in Rutherford County, Tennessee, with a staggering history of jailing children. She said kids must face consequences, which rarely seem to apply to her or the other adults in charge.

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