Juvenile Law Center

Pursuing justiceA Juvenile law center Blog

August 16, 2017

Mandatory Minimums, Maximum Consequences

posted by Emily Steiner, Legal Intern, Juvenile Law Center

The revival of strong mandatory sentencing schemes matches the “tough on crime” approach touted by the Trump administration. While mandatory minimums negatively impact all individuals involved in the criminal justice system, youth particularly face long-term consequences. The imposition of mandatory minimums exacerbates the harms that youth face in the adult criminal justice system and forces children to grow up within a system that lacks age-appropriate education and treatment to address their rehabilitative potential.

Tags:Juvenile and Criminal Justice|Juvenile Life Without Parole (JLWOP)
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August 15, 2017

White Supremacist Violence in Charlottesville

posted by Juvenile Law Center

As an organization serving all youth impacted by the child welfare and justice systems, Juvenile Law Center forcefully condemns the white supremacist violence and hatred from this past weekend in Charlottesville. Racism in our country, which has been a part of our history and legacy, was there before this weekend’s brutal display and remains after. Many young people we advocate for are targets for this kind of extremism. This has no place in our society. We advocate for all youth in the justice and child welfare systems and know youth of color, youth with disabilities and LGBT youth are overrepresented in these systems. We are committed to standing with all youth we serve and represent, and for a more just world in which such despicable hatred is unacceptable.

Tags:Child Welfare and Foster Care|Juvenile and Criminal Justice|News and Announcements
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August 11, 2017

NCJFCJ’s Resolution Commits the Judiciary to Play a Pivotal Role in Seeing and Addressing the Risk of Homelessness That So Many Court Involved Youth Face

posted by Jennifer Pokempner, Child Welfare Policy Director

On July 15th, 2017, the National Council for Juvenile and Family Court Judges adopted a RESOLUTION ADDRESSING THE NEEDS OF HOMELESS YOUTH AND FAMILIES IN JUVENILE AND FAMILY COURTS. This is a groundbreaking resolution that explicitly acknowledges the relationship between child welfare and juvenile justice system involvement and homelessness. It commits the judiciary to take a leadership role to reduce the chances that youth will enter these systems because of homelessness or leave these systems and become homeless. This is an important step that will be a catalyst for policy and practice changes that will benefit court-involved youth as they transition to adulthood.

Tags:Child Welfare and Foster Care|Permanency (Foster Care)|Transitions to Adulthood (Foster Care)
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August 04, 2017

Making a Truly Healthy Transition to Adulthood Relies on a Strong Medicaid Program and Our Commitment to Enhance Access to Quality Care

posted by Jennifer Pokempner, Child Welfare Policy Director, Juvenile Law Center

Meeting a young person’s health and behavioral health needs is foundational to a successful transition to adulthood. If these needs are not met, it is hard to meet other goals like working, going to school, and taking care of family. Making sure these needs are adequately addressed is a significant foster care and aging out issue because of the large numbers of youth in foster care who do have behavioral health challenges and have been exposed to trauma.

Tags:Access to Healthcare|Child Welfare and Foster Care|Extended Care and Reentry (Foster Care)|Older Youth with Disabilities|Permanency (Foster Care)|Transitions to Adulthood (Foster Care)|Trauma and Trauma Informed Advocacy
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August 03, 2017

Unlocking Youth: New Report on Ending Youth Solitary

posted by Juvenile Law Center

Yesterday, Juvenile Law Center released a new report on solitary confinement in juvenile facilities and legal strategies to end the practice nationwide. Juvenile Law Center surveyed public defenders and interviewed youth, their families, and correctional facility administrators to shed light the reality of youth solitary confinement.

More and more people agree that solitary confinement hurts kids and goes against the rehabilitative goals of the juvenile justice system. However, Juvenile Law Center’s research revealed that solitary is still too common. Almost half of youth prisons report isolating kids to control their behavior. More than two-thirds of public defenders responding to the survey reported having clients who spent time in solitary. The conditions kids face in solitary are truly appalling: no mattresses or sheets to sleep on, no showers, no eating utensils, and no mental health treatment.

Tags:Ending Solitary Confinement|Juvenile and Criminal Justice
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