CLEVELAND - Actor Michael K. Williams spoke on juvenile justice reform at the Cleveland Marshall College of Law, showing the HBO season six premiere of VICE, titled "Raised in the System," addressing the national problem of mass incarcerations.
“The Wire” and, “Boardwalk Empire” star told News 5 changes in how the juvenile justice system deals with young people need to be made.
"America is the number one country in the world that locks up its young people," Williams said.
"This idea of mass incarceration and people being paid off of the backs of other people going to prison, particularly young people, particularly young people of color."
"Yes children should be made to be held responsible for their bad choices, and they should also be given a chance to still grow, and become positive, productive members of society."
"We criminalize adolescent behavior so that we can fill these prisons and I think that vicious cycle needs to stop."
Tammara Caldwell-Willis, founder of Visions Revealed, agreed juvenile justice system changes are needed.
She believes youths behind bars need more positive messages and direct intervention.
Caldwell-Wills explained her Visions Revealed program is now in place at the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center.
The non-profit program brings in role models to talk to children and teens who are serving time and has them create vision boards made from magazine clippings, as a roadmap to success.
"Outreach is essential because these young people need a new mindset," Caldwell-Willis said.
"With the vision boards, once you see these images, they become a part of your subconscious, and then once they become a part of your subconscious, you start to take the actions that need to be taken in order to accomplish those goals."
Caldwell-Willis said more resources are needed for parents, so they can be better equipped to help their children and teens, once they are released from juvenile detention.
Visions Revealed will be holding its 13th Annual Toy Drive on Thursday, December 20, 2018 at Harvest Daycare, located at 7109 Kinsman Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44104.