Juvenile Law Center

Pursuing justiceA Juvenile law center Blog

January 23, 2014

National Working Group on Foster Care and Education to Host Briefings for U.S. House, Senate on Helping Foster Youth Succeed in School

posted by Juvenile Law Center

“Since I moved around from school district to school district so often, tracking down all of the paperwork was a huge problem. No one knew when I was graduating … if I had known, I could have applied to college.” — from Casey Family Programs' publication "A Roadmap for Learning"

This quote from a former foster youth is an all-too-common example of the obstacles that these kids face—more than 400,000 youth nationwide, in any given year—in achieving school success.

Tags:Access to Education|Child Welfare and Foster Care|State and Federal Legislation
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January 21, 2014

Juvenile Law Center Negotiates Final Settlement of Civil Rights Lawsuit Challenging Solitary Confinement of 2 Boys in Custody of NJ Juvenile Justice Commission

posted by Juvenile Law Center

Imagine being locked in a seven by seven foot cell, with your only window to the world looking out at a brick wall.

You are alone; you have no pen or paper, no books, no audio or visual stimulation. You are often denied clothing or you are provided a 'ferguson gown'—a Velcro-strapped garment that severely restricts your physical movement.

You are occasionally denied sheets or blankets or even a mattress so you won't harm yourself.You are rarely let out of your cell, spending 23 or 24 hours a day there, your only respite a shower. You are denied mental health treatment because you are in isolation, but you cannot be released from isolation until you learn how to better manage your behavior. The drudgery and despair of this monotonous and maddening existence continues almost uninterrupted for nearly seven months.

Imagine you’re only sixteen years old.

Tags:Ending Solitary Confinement|Juvenile and Criminal Justice
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January 17, 2014

Juvenile Law Center Wins Second Ruling Declaring Pennsylvania's Juvenile Sex Offender Registration Requirements Unconstitutional

posted by Juvenile Law Center

For the second time in the last three months, a Pennsylvania judge has ruled that Pennsylvania’s juvenile sex offender registration requirements are unconstitutional. On January 16, 2014, Monroe County Court of Common Pleas President Judge Margherita Patti-Worthington ruled that Pennsylvania's law requiring juveniles convicted of sexual offenses be subjected to lifetime sex offender registration violates their rights under the Pennsylvania Constitution.

Tags:Juvenile and Criminal Justice|Juvenile Sex Offender Registration
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January 14, 2014

Juvenile Law Center Submits Comments on PA Department of Public Welfare's Request to Impose Requirements on Foster Youth Newly Eligible for Medicaid

posted by Juvenile Law Center

The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW) has opened for comment its draft application to the federal government regarding the operation of the Medicaid program in Pennsylvania. This application, entitled "Healthy Pennsylvania," includes a plan to impose work requirements and health insurance premiums on individuals between the ages of 21 and 26 who are newly eligible for Medicaid by virtue of their status as youth who have aged out of foster care.

Tags:Access to Healthcare|Coveredtil26 (Health Insurance)|Child Welfare and Foster Care
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January 13, 2014

Pennsylvania Appellate Court Ruling Protects Youth in Court-Ordered Treatment

posted by Juvenile Law Center

In an important ruling earlier this month, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania held that the Commonwealth could not use a youth’s statements to therapists in court-ordered placement to prosecute the youth on new charges.

Tags:Juvenile and Criminal Justice|Mental Health Treatment
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