Criminalizing youth pushes them into both the juvenile court system and the foster care system when their needs could be better served in their homes

Court costs, fines, fees, and restitution hurt youth and families. Justice-related debt pushes youth deeper into the system and keeps families in poverty.

The U. S. is the only country that sentences youth to die in prison. We work nationally to abolish life without parole sentences for youth.

Kids do best close to home and in their communities.

Juvenile records are NOT automatically destroyed at a certain age. Records do very little for public safety and stifle success and opportunity.
Registries continue to punish youth years and even decades after they have served time. Data and research show that registries don’t improve public safety.
Kids nationwide are facing solitary confinement, strip searches, and physical and sexual abuse. In the home, it’s called child abuse. No child deserves it.

Juvenile Law Center advocates for a robust right to counsel for all youth in the child welfare and justice systems.

Around 250,000 youth enter the adult criminal justice system each year, despite research showing treating youth as adults does not reduce crime.