Jessica Feierman, supervising attorney, joined Juvenile Law Center in 2006. Jessica engages in litigation and amicus efforts on a wide variety of subjects, including juvenile life without parole, institutional conditions, and adult sentencing. With Juvenile Law Center Deputy DIrector and Chief Counsel Marsha Levick, Jessica co-authored the lead child advocates amicus briefs in Graham v. Florida, where the U.S. Supreme Court struck life without parole sentences for juveniles convicted of non-homicide offenses under the Eighth Amendment; Safford v. Redding, in which the U.S. Supreme Court held a school strip search unconstitutional; and J.D.B. v. North Carolina, where the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a juvenile's age is relevant to the Miranda custody analysis under the Fifth Amendment.
Jessica also engages in policy advocacy and public education on the juvenile justice and child welfare systems, with a particular focus on the impact of trauma and adolescent development on juvenile and child welfare policies, and on the educational obstacles and opportunities facing court-involved youth. Prior to joining Juvenile Law Center, Jessica was a litigation fellow at the ACLU National Prison Project, where she litigated prison conditions cases in federal court. From 2001-2003, Jessica was a teaching fellow in the Georgetown University Law Center's Street Law in the Community Program. From 2000-2001, Jessica served as a law clerk to the Honorable Warren J. Ferguson on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Jessica is a graduate of Wesleyan University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and was awarded an LLM in advocacy from Georgetown University Law Center.
Jessica has a deep interest in community and youth engagement and activism. Prior to attending law school, Jessica founded and directed the Teen Health Initiative (now called the Teen Activist Project) at the New York Civil Liberties Union. At Juvenile Law Center, she launched Juveniles for Justice, a youth engagement and advocacy program for justice system-involved youth. Jessica serves on the Board of the Juvenile Defender Association of Pennsylvania and Public Citizens for Children and Youth.
Marsha Levick, Jessica Feierman, Sharon Messenheimer Kelley, Naomi Sevin Goldstein, “The Eighth Amendment Evolves: Defining Cruel And Unusual Punishment Through The Lens Of Childhood And Adolescence,” University of Pennsylvania Journal of Law and Social Policy, Vol. 15, No. 2 (Spring 2012)
Jessica Feierman, "Information Education Agencies Can Share with Child Welfare Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)," Future Trends in State Courts 2012 (Carol R. Flango, Amy M. McDowell, Deborah W. Saunders, Nora E. Sydow, Charles F. Campbell, and Neal B. Kauder, eds.), 2012
Katherine Burdick, Jessica Feierman, and Maura McInerney, "Creating Positive Consequences: Improving Education Outcomes for Youth Adjudicated Delinquent," Duke Forum for Law & Social Change, Vol. 3:5, 2011
Jessica Feierman, Marsha Levick, and Ami Mody, "The School to Prison Pipeline ... and Back: Obstacles and Remedies for the Re-Enrollment of Adjudicated Youth," New York School Law Review, Vol. 54, No. 4, 2009/10.
Jessica Feierman and Riya Shah, "Protecting Personhood: Legal Strategies to Combat the Use of Strip Searches on Youth in Detention," in Rutgers Law Review, No. 67, 2007