BTH: The Future of Juvenile Justice In Shelby County

Aug 14, 2018


This week on WKNO-TV's Behind the Headlines, host Eric Barnes discusses the local justice system with soon-to-be-retired Shelby County Chief Public Defender Stephen Bush.

Bush believes that the juvenile justice system needs to be the last resort for youth. Adolescent brain development, he says, is a key focus in helping children avoid getting involved in the court system.

Bush says that Shelby County's high jail population will be a challenge for his successor. He points to a correlation between the increase in the number of people arrested and how long they have stayed in jail.

The length of a jail stay, Bush says, is often predicated on an inability to post bail.

Bush “challenge[s] new leadership” to change the local policy and procedures regarding the Shelby County justice system, to better suit some of the low-income citizens of the County.  

Memphis Daily News reporter Bill Dries also offers highlights about this week’s election results and what to expect for the November 6th election.