Though considered a bastion of all things liberal, until recently, New York State was one of just two states sending all convicted 16- and 17-year-old juveniles to adult prison and jail. (The other is North Carolina; it will stop automatically charging 16- and 17-year-olds as adults in December 2019.) Last October, New York raised the minimum age of teen felons who can be held in adult facilities. Now youthful offenders will be tried in family court and incarcerated in separate facilities if convicted.
Since then, communities statewide have grappled with several logistical issues, Ithaca Times reports. Foremost, there are few facilities that cater to this demographic; in addition to a bed shortage and overcrowding, the facilities are far apart, which means teens could be housed far from home, a problem many families don’t like. Rarer is an instance when a teen commits a serious violent crime and can’t make bail, in which case the cost of transporting the accused individual to and from hearings will be far higher than for an adult, as adults are transported in groups. These and other issues will be tackled in coming years and will likely increase the cost, and the fairness, of the justice system.
Most Prolific Mothers
OK, they might have been making music since the early ’90s, but it’s impossible to be anything but awed by the fact that Acid Mothers Temple has made more than 120 albums. No joke. And you get tired just thinking about going to work. #Lazy. Las Vegas Weekly was equally impressed with the work ethic of the Japanese psych rockers, whose sound it describes as “gloriously trippy and heavy on hypnotic repetition.” To prepare to attend a concert by the band, whose full name is Acid Mother Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O., which LVW says “matches the music perfectly,” it’s recommended a listening voyage that starts with La Nòvia and ends when you stop peaking (OK, we made that last bit up).
Daddy Day Care
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds is getting the business end of a bad news cycle for giving her father a job. Iowa City’s Little Village notes, “When most adults give an elderly parent a job, it’s usually as a babysitter.” Reynolds appointed her 78-year-old pops to a state panel tasked with vetting candidates to replace a retiring judge. The (unpaid) gig is for six years, longer than his daughter’s term of office.
LV also reports neither the governor’s office nor appointee Charles Strawn made mention of their relationship when announcing his appointment; the governor just slipped his name in among 24 others being appointed to various positions. It was only after the Associated Press asked about it that the gov’s office confirmed the connection. Iowa’s anti-nepotism law, LV adds, does not prohibit the appointment.
A Son’s Duty
In February, Iran jailed Iranian-Canadian academic and environmentalist Kavous Seyed-Emami on charges of espionage. Two weeks later, he died in the infamous Evin Prison under what the family calls suspicious circumstances (the government claims his death was a suicide). Emami’s son, musician Raam Emami, aka King Raam, traveled with his brother and mother to Iran to bury him, Now Toronto reports. Afterward, Iran let the sons leave, but confiscated their mother’s passport and forced her to remain. Since then, the Emamis, the Canadian government, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and others have campaigned for her release.
Emami recently sat down with NT to talk about his then-upcoming shows in Toronto and Vancouver, two of the first he’s played since his life exploded. He said it feels “strange” to go back onstage, but that the “healthy distraction” will be a welcome change from “all this anger and guilt.” Asked why he feels guilty, Emami said that he wished he’d spoken up as soon as his father was arrested-but that they weren’t worried at the time, which he calls a “lesson” and urges others to speak “as loud as you fucking can” if the same happens to them. He also talked about how hard it is for his mom, who’d been with his dad since age 17 and is tired, stressed and frustrated by her predicament. He added that he and his brother are determined to do anything—even go to Iran and face arrest or imprisonment—to get their mother home. In spite of it all, Emami says, “I have no choice but to be an optimist-to go on and to survive.”