Juvenile Law Center

Pursuing justiceA Juvenile law center Blog

August 18, 2017

Navigating the Path to a Successful Career: New Juvenile Law Center Report Addresses Barriers for Youth in Foster Care and the Juvenile Justice System

posted by Karen U. Lindell, Staff Attorney

As summer comes to a close, many teens around the country are wrapping up one of the first steps in their “career pathway”: a summer job. These short-term positions are not just a pastime; research shows that summer employment reduces dropout rates, improves long-term employment prospects, and decreases the chance of future involvement in the criminal justice system.

In a new report funded by the Lenfest Foundation, Juvenile Law Center takes a focused look at the barriers to career pathways that system-involved youth encounter. Based on an in-depth needs assessment of the Philadelphia community, the report offers five strategies to improve access to career-focused programs and early work experiences for youth in the child welfare or juvenile justice system.

Tags:Access to Education|Ban the Box|Child Welfare and Foster Care|Community and School Reentry|Juvenile and Criminal Justice|Second Chances|Transitions to Adulthood (Foster Care)
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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 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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July 18, 2017

A Powerful Tool for Change in the Child Welfare and Justice Systems: The Americans with Disabilities Act

posted by Juvenile Law Center

Twenty-seven years ago this month, Congress enacted the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law. This landmark civil rights legislation prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability and requires that people with disabilities have the opportunity to live, work, and access services in the community to the same degree as their non-disabled peers. The ADA requires reasonable accommodations be made so that differently-abled people may lead full, rich lives. These protections apply to everyone with a disability – including young people in the child welfare and juvenile justice system.

Tags:Access to Education|Access to Healthcare|Coveredtil26 (Health Insurance)|Child Welfare and Foster Care|Juvenile and Criminal Justice|Mental Health Treatment|Normalcy for Foster Youth|Older Youth with Disabilities|Permanency (Foster Care)|Transitions to Adulthood (Foster Care)
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