“Alicia Barraza started her testimony with statistics. Sixteen- and 17-year-olds who serve time in New York’s adult facilities are twice as likely to report being beaten by staff, she said matter-of-factly. Looking straight ahead at a panel of New York state senators, she explained that juveniles in adult facilities are 50 percent more likely to be attacked with a weapon, are most at risk of sexual assault and are 36 percent more likely to commit suicide.
“Then, after a brief pause, her voice softened. She looked down, gathered herself and took a deep breath.
“’Tragically, all these things happened to Ben,’ Barraza said, referring to her son in a soft, barely audible voice.”