April 29, 2013
At this year's Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) Intersite Conference, held in Atlanta on April 16-18, Juvenile Law Center received the "Gloria J. Jenkins Award for Outstanding Contributions to Juvenile Justice Reform by a Community Organization."
The award recognized our system reform efforts, particularly our amicus curiae briefs to the United States Supreme Court in cases that have significantly benefited juveniles, including Roper v. Simmons, Graham v. Florida, J.D.B. v. North Carolina, and Miller v. Alabama, as well as our ongoing litigation and advocacy work related to the Luzerne County "kids-for-cash" scandal.
April 05, 2013
Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Bill Ecenbarger’s new book, “Kids for Cash,” details the scandal of the same name that occurred from 2003-2008 in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, where ex-judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan accepted millions of dollars in kickbacks from two private, for-profit juvenile facilities in exchange for sending hundreds of children to those facilities (as well as other out-of-home placements) for often-minor offenses. Many of the children appeared in court without counsel.
In a review of “Kids for Cash” in The New York Times this week, writer Abbe Smith calls the book “a harrowing tale, lucidly told by a journalist with a good eye for detail” and counts Juvenile Law Center attorneys among the “heroes … who represented two of the detained children and petitioned the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to stop the widespread waiver of counsel.”
March 18, 2013
Fifty years ago today, a homeless 51-year-old with an eighth-grade education, a pencil, and a pad of paper sparked one of the most significant advances in the rights of indigent criminal defendants in United States legal history. In Gideon v. Wainwright, the U.S. Supreme Court declared unanimously that criminal defendants facing significant jail time had a right to court-appointed counsel if they could not afford to retain counsel on their own. But how much has really changed?