Locked up on TV

July 6, 2009
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Some of Indiana’s youngest criminals will visit living rooms and bedrooms across the country this summer thanks to a documentary series airing on MSNBC. This summer, Lake County’s Juvenile Justice Center will be featured in the network’s “Lockup” series. The show has featured prisons from around the country, including ones for adults in New Mexico and Utah. Karen Grau’s “Lake County Juvenile Justice” documentary premiered July 4 and photos from it can be viewed on MSNBC’s documentary site. The series filmed in Lake County will be shown on Saturdays at 10 p.m. this summer. Grau shot the 6 one-hour episodes in Judge Mary Bonaventura’s courtroom.

The Indiana Supreme Court has granted Grau access to the juvenile courts in Lake County several times. Grau said the goal of the documentary was to shed light on the issues facing the courts and children served by them.

I missed this most recent documentary, but I have seen “Juvies,” which ran on MTV a few years ago. It was also produced by Grau. What made me watch the show initially was that it was filmed in Lake County; what made me keep watching it was to see how our juvenile justice system worked and how the teens reacted to their punishments. I saw involved parents; no parents; or parents who passed on their lack of discipline and respect to their children. I saw kids that wanted to change and others who I just knew would end up in the system again.

Have you seen any of Grau’s documentaries? What do you think about these shows? Are they helping to educate the public on the judicial system and prisons?
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  • Hi Jennifer,
    Thanks for posting a note about our new series. Since you missed last week\'s episode
    you can tune into MSNBC this Saturday, July 11th at 9pm ET to catch the
    repeat of episode 1, just before an all new episode 2 at 10pm. If you liked the
    MTV series we think you will find this new series much more powerful. It
    can be difficult to watch but the stories are so important to tell. We owe an
    enormous amount of gratitude to the Indiana Supreme Court and Chief Justice
    Randall T. Shepard for allowing us such extraordinary access to film in Judge Bonaventura\'s courtroom and the Lake County Detention Center. Our outcomes for
    kids and families over the years following the airing our documentaries have been
    most rewarding of all. We hope you will tune in for the remaining 5 episodes
    of this MSNBC series.

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  1. Call it unauthorized law if you must, a regulatory wrong, but it was fraud and theft well beyond that, a seeming crime! "In three specific cases, the hearing officer found that Westerfield did little to no work for her clients but only issued a partial refund or no refund at all." That is theft by deception, folks. "In its decision to suspend Westerfield, the Supreme Court noted that she already had a long disciplinary history dating back to 1996 and had previously been suspended in 2004 and indefinitely suspended in 2005. She was reinstated in 2009 after finally giving the commission a response to the grievance for which she was suspended in 2004." WOW -- was the Indiana Supreme Court complicit in her fraud? Talk about being on notice of a real bad actor .... "Further, the justices noted that during her testimony, Westerfield was “disingenuous and evasive” about her relationship with Tope and attempted to distance herself from him. They also wrote that other aggravating factors existed in Westerfield’s case, such as her lack of remorse." WOW, and yet she only got 18 months on the bench, and if she shows up and cries for them in a year and a half, and pays money to JLAP for group therapy ... back in to ride roughshod over hapless clients (or are they "marks") once again! Aint Hoosier lawyering a great money making adventure!!! Just live for the bucks, even if filthy lucre, and come out a-ok. ME on the other hand??? Lifetime banishment for blowing the whistle on unconstitutional governance. Yes, had I ripped off clients or had ANY disciplinary history for doing that I would have fared better, most likely, as that it would have revealed me motivated by Mammon and not Faith. Check it out if you doubt my reading of this, compare and contrast the above 18 months with my lifetime banishment from court, see appendix for Bar Examiners report which the ISC adopted without substantive review: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS

  2. Wow, over a quarter million dollars? That is a a lot of commissary money! Over what time frame? Years I would guess. Anyone ever try to blow the whistle? Probably not, since most Hoosiers who take notice of such things realize that Hoosier whistleblowers are almost always pilloried. If someone did blow the whistle, they were likely fired. The persecution of whistleblowers is a sure sign of far too much government corruption. Details of my own personal experience at the top of Hoosier governance available upon request ... maybe a "fake news" media outlet will have the courage to tell the stories of Hoosier whistleblowers that the "real" Hoosier media (cough) will not deign to touch. (They are part of the problem.)

  3. So if I am reading it right, only if and when African American college students agree to receive checks labeling them as "Negroes" do they receive aid from the UNCF or the Quaker's Educational Fund? In other words, to borrow from the Indiana Appellate Court, "the [nonprofit] supposed to be [their] advocate, refers to [students] in a racially offensive manner. While there is no evidence that [the nonprofits] intended harm to [African American students], the harm was nonetheless inflicted. [Black students are] presented to [academia and future employers] in a racially offensive manner. For these reasons, [such] performance [is] deficient and also prejudice[ial]." Maybe even DEPLORABLE???

  4. I'm the poor soul who spent over 10 years in prison with many many other prisoners trying to kill me for being charged with a sex offense THAT I DID NOT COMMIT i was in jail for a battery charge for helping a friend leave a boyfriend who beat her I've been saying for over 28 years that i did not and would never hurt a child like that mine or anybody's child but NOBODY wants to believe that i might not be guilty of this horrible crime or think that when i say that ALL the paperwork concerning my conviction has strangely DISAPPEARED or even when the long beach judge re-sentenced me over 14 months on a already filed plea bargain out of another districts court then had it filed under a fake name so i could not find while trying to fight my conviction on appeal in a nut shell people are ALWAYS quick to believe the worst about some one well I DID NOT HURT ANY CHILD EVER IN MY LIFE AND HAVE SAID THIS FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS please if anybody can me get some kind of justice it would be greatly appreciated respectfully written wrongly accused Brian Valenti

  5. A high ranking Indiana supreme Court operative caught red handed leading a group using the uber offensive N word! She must denounce or be denounced! (Or not since she is an insider ... rules do not apply to them). Evidence here: http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

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