Injustice in the Lowest Courts: How Municipal Courts Rob America's Youth
New research from Nolan Anderson, Randy Kreider, and Kristen Schnell—students in Columbia Law School’s Community Advocacy Lab—reveals the dangers municipal courts across the country pose to youth and their families. Local court systems have the authority to impose devastating financial penalties on young people for ordinary teenage behavior such as loitering, underage drinking, or skipping school. This report is part of an ongoing collaboration with the Columbia Community Advocacy Lab and Juvenile Law Center aimed at bringing broader justice reform. The findings highlight that shifting our approach to municipal courts need not happen only at the local level; state legislative changes hold great promise for reform.