Juvenile Law Center

February 12, 2018

Bipartisan Legislation Introduced in Wisconsin to Close Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake Youth Correctional Facilities

Today the Wisconsin State Assembly introduced bipartisan legislation in the Wisconsin Capitol to close Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake, two controversial and beleaguered youth correctional facilities. The move comes after years of federal and state investigations into the facilities, and a class action lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Wisconsin and Juvenile Law Center, with pro-bono assistance from Quarles & Brady. The suit successfully resulted in a preliminary injunction this past summer meant to halt the unconstitutional use of solitary confinement and other inhumane conditions and practices against young people.

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January 24, 2018

State Constitutional Amendment in Florida Introduced to Protect Rights of Youth in Foster Care to Counsel

A proposed amendment to the state constitution of Florida would ensure that children in the foster care system have access to counsel. Today, Juvenile Law Center joined partners in the state and nationwide calling on the Florida Constitution Revision commissioners to support this move, which is known as Proposal 40. A hearing will be held on Proposal 40 tomorrow.
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January 16, 2018

Juvenile Law Center Submits Amicus Brief in Support of Cyntoia Brown

Today Juvenile Law Center, along with several other advocacy organizations, filed an amicus (friend of the court) brief in the Unites States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, on behalf of Cyntoia Brown, a Nashville young woman who received a life sentence with the opportunity for parole after 51 years when she was just sixteen years old. Cyntoia’s case recently garnered national media attention when several celebrities, including Rihanna and Kim Kardashian West, spoke out against this unjust and unconstitutional, sentence.

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January 11, 2018

Juvenile Law Center Announces 2018 Leadership Prize Recipients

Today Juvenile Law Center, the oldest public interest law firm for children in the country, is pleased to announce the recipients of this year’s Leadership Prize. The group’s annual Leadership Prize is awarded to outstanding advocates working to advance the rights and well-being of youth in the child welfare and justice systems. The work of our awardees has substantially improved the lives of the country’s most vulnerable youth.

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January 04, 2018

Wisconsin Dept. of Corrections Will Close Youth Prisons in Wake of Unconstitutional Use of Solitary Confinement, Other Inhumane Conditions

The Walker administration and the Department of Corrections announced today that they will be closing the Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake state-run youth correctional facilities in Irma. The decision comes following an injunction secured by the ACLU of Wisconsin and Juvenile Law Center (with pro-bono assistance from Quarles & Brady) through a class action civil rights lawsuit in federal court centered on the use of solitary confinement, pepper spray, shackling, and strip searches of children. The suit was filed on behalf of youth confined in the Lincoln Hills School for Boys and the Copper Lake School for Girls. The facilities had previously been under investigation for a range of abuses and violations of constitutional rights of the youth.
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December 22, 2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions Rescinds Key Guidance to Reduce or Eliminate Costs, Fines and Fees for Juvenile Offenders

Yesterday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Department of Justice’s critical guidance on the use of costs, fines and fees for youth in the juvenile justice system. The guidance, which clarified existing law, was written by the Justice Department’s Office for Access to Justice, Office of Justice Programs, and Office for Civil Rights under the Obama administration. The move followed a campaign of advocacy and research from Juvenile Law Center on the widespread abuse of costs, fines and fees in the juvenile justice system, and our publication of a groundbreaking national report on the issue.

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September 21, 2017

Juvenile Law Center, Leading Child Welfare Public Interest Law Firm, Opposes Graham-Cassidy

Organization cites the bill’s harmful impact on youth in foster care and their families

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September 13, 2017

New Bills Introduced in Congress Aim for Higher Education Success for Youth in Foster Care System, Experiencing Homelessness

Legislation is heralded by national advocacy organizations Juvenile Law Center, SchoolHouse Connection and National Network for Youth.

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August 02, 2017

National Report Finds Use of Solitary Confinement at Juvenile Facilities Widespread, Disproportionately Impacting Minorities

Juvenile Law Center today released a critical report with key findings on the use of solitary confinement at juvenile facilities nationally. The report found that despite progress at the federal level and in a growing number of states, solitary confinement of youth remains widespread, with a disproportionate impact on youth of color, LGBT youth, and youth with disabilities. The organization has fought the use of solitary confinement with kids for decades, and will share the report’s findings today in a livestreamed Congressional briefing at 2pm EST.

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June 27, 2017

Pennsylvania’s Highest Court Strikes Blow to Sentencing Kids to Life in Prison

Yesterday, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court unanimously ruled that before youth can be sentenced to life without parole, the state bears a high burden of establishing they are permanently incorrigible.

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