Juvenile Law Center

Pursuing justiceA Juvenile law center Blog

April 25, 2014

Lessons from "Kids for Cash," Part 10: The United States Leads the World in Incarceration of Juveniles

posted by Juvenile Law Center

The Luzerne County "kids-for-cash" case has been called the “most egregious judicial scandal in U.S. history.” But not for the reasons most people think. The judges accepted $2.8 million in "finder’s fees” from the builder of the new for-profit detention center, and most Americans found that fact both shocking and repugnant. Yet something far worse was exposed in the shadows of the kids-for-cash story: America’s love affair with incarceration.

Tags:Juvenile and Criminal Justice|Luzerne Kids for Cash Scandal
Read more >

April 11, 2014

Lessons from "Kids for Cash," Part 9: The Focus of the Juvenile Justice System is Rehabilitation, Not Incarceration

posted by Juvenile Law Center

Our nation’s first juvenile court was established in Illinois in 1899. The court process at the time was informal, often nothing more than a conversation between the youth and the judge. Youth did not have lawyers—a child’s constitutional right to counsel in delinquency proceedings was not recognized. This right did not come until 1967, when the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling in In re Gault that children were entitled to many of the same rights as adults who committed crimes.

Tags:Juvenile and Criminal Justice|Luzerne Kids for Cash Scandal
Read more >

April 09, 2014

Helping Foster Youth with Disabilities Transition to Adulthood

posted by Juvenile Law Center

For virtually all young adults, making the transition from adolescence to independent adulthood is challenging. Luckily, most of us have parents to help guide us through the transition. Most foster youth aren’t so lucky.

Tags:Child Welfare and Foster Care|Older Youth with Disabilities|Transitions to Adulthood (Foster Care)
Read more >

April 04, 2014

Lessons from "Kids for Cash," Part 8: Locking Kids Up Costs Money—Lots of It

posted by Juvenile Law Center

Nationwide, more and more taxpayer dollars are spent to put children behind bars while fewer and fewer dollars are invested in education. A cost-benefit analysis of corrections spending shows that our country is moving in the wrong direction. According to the Justice Policy Institute (JPI) report, “The Costs of Confinement: Why Good Juvenile Justice Policies Make Good Fiscal Sense,” our nation spends an average of $241 per day, or $88,000 annually, for every youth in a juvenile facility. Conversely, 2011 census data show the annual per student cost for a public school education was about $10,600.

Tags:Juvenile and Criminal Justice|Luzerne Kids for Cash Scandal
Read more >

Support Juvenile Law Center

One of the most important lessons from our 40 years of experience is that children involved with the justice and foster care systems need zealous legal advocates. Your support for our work is more important now than ever before. Support