Henry v. Attorney General of the State of Alabama

Alabama law prohibits many individuals registered as sex offenders from residing with their own children based solely on the convicted offense. This law is written so broadly that it includes individuals who were themselves youth at the time of their offense. The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama found that this provision unconstitutional, as it is overly broad and unduly burdens parents’ fundamental right to the care, custody, and control of their children.

Juvenile Law Center and Southern Poverty Law Center filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, urging the Court to affirm the District Court’s ruling. Our brief argued that Alabama’s designation of many youth as “adult sex offenders” subject to the parenting restrictions is an example of the law’s overbreadth because youth mature out of delinquent behavior, are amenable to rehabilitation, and are extremely unlikely to sexually recidivate. Our brief further argued that this restriction intrudes on the constitutionally protected right to family integrity, and that prohibiting children from living with a parent can cause immense psychological harm and trauma.



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