Jackson mom reacts to one family's nightmare - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Jackson mom reacts to one family's nightmare

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

A Jackson mom reacts to one family's nightmare, one she knows all too well.

On Friday, Perry County teen Carl Dane who confessed to the July 20, 2010 murder of Sidnee Stephens, was found dead in his jail cell.

Dane, 19, was scheduled to be transferred that day to Menard Correctional Center in Chester to begin a 60 year prison sentence.

An all too familiar story to Tracy McClard.

Three days before her son Jonathon's 17th birthday, he took his own life just before beginning a 30 year prison sentence for shooting another teen in Jackson back in 2007.

McClard has now made it part of her mission to work to keep teen offenders out of adult prisons.

Carl Dane was 18 when arrested for Stephen's murder.

"The prison system is messed up from the adult side all the way down to the juvenile side, so yes I do believe this is another victim," said Tracy McClard, a youth justice advocate." Mr. Dane did not get a death sentence. He got a prison sentence. For him to feel he was hopeless enough to commit suicide, it's another victim. In any crime there are victims on both sides, we've learned that we lived it."

McClard founded an organization called (FORJ) Families and friends Organizing to Reform Juvenile justice.

She's working with others to give kids a second chance.

The focus is kid offenders under 18. She says they still need to be punished, but the punishment needs to be fit for a child--not an adult.

Copyright 2011 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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