Santiago v. City of Philadelphia

Shortly after opening its doors in 1975, Juvenile Law Center joined this class action lawsuit as lead counsel. Initially filed in 1974 by Community Legal Services and Philadelphians for Equal Justice, this case sought to end overcrowding and abusive conditions at Philadelphia’s Youth Study Center, the city’s maximum-security pre-trial juvenile detention center. Various pieces of the litigation were settled over time, with the last settlement agreement reached in 1989.

Juvenile Law Center spent more than three decades enforcing and monitoring the settlement agreements. This litigation improved conditions, education, medical care, and sanitation at the facility. This case resulted in several decisions in federal court  that have contributed to the  body of law on conditions of confinement in juvenile detention centers.

The center was officially closed in 2009, bringing end to more than 30 years of litigation. A new juvenile detention center will open in 2012.