Juvenile Law Center

Pursuing justiceA Juvenile law center Blog

December 21, 2012

First "Kids for Cash" Settlement Approved

posted by Juvenile Law Center

Last Friday, U.S. District Judge A. Richard Caputo gave final approval to a $17.75 million settlement in the Luzerne County, PA “kids for cash” cases with real estate developer Robert Mericle.

“While no amount of money can possibly restore what these children and families lost, this settlement validates their losses and will hopefully restore their faith in our justice system,” says Marsha Levick, Deputy Director and Chief Counsel at Juvenile Law Center.

Tags:Juvenile and Criminal Justice|Luzerne Kids for Cash Scandal|News and Announcements
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December 20, 2012

In Adopting Punitive Sex Offender Law, Pennsylvania Takes Giant Step Backward in Protecting Children

posted by Juvenile Law Center

Today is a dark day for Pennsylvania’s children. After spending the last two years enacting a series of measures to improve how we treat our children, Pennsylvania took a giant step backward in adopting a punitive and unreasonable law incorrectly stigmatizing youth for life. Act 111, which goes into effect today, unnecessarily places certain juveniles on a lifetime sex offender registry.

Act 111 was enacted in response to the federal Adam Walsh Act, passed by Congress in 2006 after the high-profile abduction and murder of a child. States that do not comply with the Act are at risk of losing 10% of their funding under the Justice Assistance Grant program. The Act expanded the breadth of registration and notification laws for all individuals convicted of sex offenses. Most importantly, it subjects youth who are adjudicated delinquent to the same registration requirements as convicted adult sex offenders.

Tags:Juvenile and Criminal Justice|Juvenile Sex Offender Registration
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December 19, 2012

The True Measure of America

posted by Juvenile Law Center

The events and subsequent revelations of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre leave us gasping in horror, momentarily speechless. “There are no words…” seemed to be the collective sentiment of so many. But as we emerge from our shock, we realize that there are words. Lots of them. We, as a nation, simply choose not to listen.

"A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members," said Mahatma Ghandi.

Our weakest members include our children, our citizens with mental health issues, our poor, our sick, our disabled, our elderly – our friends and families and neighbors.

Those of us who work at Juvenile Law Center grieve deeply for the families of the Newtown children who were so brutally murdered.  We are sadly reminded of members of the Juvenile Law Center family who were murdered by gun violence this past year.

Tags:Juvenile and Criminal Justice
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December 14, 2012

Congressional Hearing Calls for Ending the School-to-Prison Pipeline

posted by Juvenile Law Center

On Tuesday, December 11, Illinois Senator Richard Durbin, chair of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights, held the first-ever congressional hearing on how to effectively end the “school-to-prison pipeline”—the practice of criminalizing student misconduct that increases the chances that students, particularly low-income students of color, will end up involved in the justice system.

Tags:Juvenile and Criminal Justice|School to Prison Pipeline|State and Federal Legislation
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December 11, 2012

In Response to "Kids-for-Cash" Scandal, PA Supreme Court Adopts New Rules of Appellate Procedure

posted by Juvenile Law Center

On December 10, 2012, the Court adopted new Rules of Appellate Procedure that provide for quick review of out-of-home placement in delinquency matters. Because juveniles often complete their time in placement in less time than it typically takes to process an appeal from an adjudication, new Rule 1770 provides an immediate mechanism for juveniles who are adjudicated delinquent to have their out-of-home placement reviewed by the appellate court prior to formal appellate review of the adjudication or other matters. 

Tags:Juvenile and Criminal Justice|Luzerne Kids for Cash Scandal|News and Announcements
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