Juvenile Justice in the News
Los Angeles Board Of Supervisors Votes To Launch ‘Historic’ Juvenile Diversion Plan
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt an ambitious plan to divert thousands of the county’s youth away from the juvenile and criminal justice systems, connecting them instead to a comprehensive array of supportive services.
SB 190 Becomes Law, Ending Harmful, Unlawful, and Costly Juvenile Justice Fees
“On October 11, 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 190, a major, bipartisan juvenile justice reform bill that will improve youth rehabilitation and increase public safety. Effective January 1, 2018, SB 190 ends the regressive and racially discriminatory practice of charging administrative fees to families with youth in the juvenile system.”
Parents won’t have to foot bill for kids’ stints in juvenile hall
“Sacramento County has stopped charging parents whose kids live in juvenile hall, part of a growing movement to end fees that fall disproportionately on low-income and minority families who struggle to pay.”
In-Person Visits, New Underwear, More Counseling: Key Changes Sought in California Juvenile Detention
“Advocates say they expect most of their proposals to be accepted because they are designed to update regulations after federal and state laws are newly adopted or recent studies come out. In other cases, advocates want to ban certain procedures in state regulations, even if no one is practicing them.”
Dubious Arrests, Damaged Lives: How Shelters Criminalize Hundreds of Children
“Shelters in the nation’s largest foster care system are supposed to serve as a refuge for vulnerable children removed from unsafe homes. Instead, they have funneled hundreds of children, some as young as 8 years old, into the criminal justice system for relatively minor incidents, a Chronicle investigation has found.”
Thurgood Marshall Bar Association
"When Thurgood Marshall began his journey seeking equality and justice for all, racism, segregation, and discrimination were an accepted way of life in every corner of America.
At Howard Law School, Thurgood Marshall was taught to be a legal social engineer with the aim of creating a more just society. A legal social engineer is a highly skilled, perceptive, sensitive lawyer who understands the Constitution of the United States and knows how to explore its uses in order to disrupt the systems and institutions rooted in bias that negatively impact communities across America.”
Is Juvenile Justice Beyond Repair?
“Incarceration harms kids and creates repeat offenders. We know from the research that when young people are in contact with their families, they’re going to actually do much better,” says Ryan. Youth First works with partners around the country to dismantle incarceration systems that target children and to reinvest those state and federal funds into nonresidential community-based programs that allow young people to remain with their families while under court supervision.”
COMMENTARIES AND OPINION PIECES:
Commentary: Give Juveniles Their Due
“Our nation’s juvenile courts still lack procedure and formality. Though their informal processes may have developed with the intention of being kid-friendly, juvenile courts are also so focused on “fixing troubled youth” that they forget their primary function is to determine whether an accused child is delinquent or not.”
Commentary: Mentally Ill Kids Shouldn’t Languish in Juvenile Halls
“Juvenile halls are not an appropriate long term placement to house these children. Juveniles suffering from serious mental health issues or developmental disabilities must be provided services and treatment in a more appropriate, therapeutic long-term setting. Additionally, these youth need appropriately trained behavioral health clinicians providing their needed services.
Assembly Bill 935, authored by Assemblymember Mark Stone and sponsored by the Chief Probation Officers of California, improves the outcomes of youth that go through this system.”
IJD IN THE NEWS:
Juvenile injustice: $350 to defend a child
“Because contract attorneys are paid a single fee (which hasn't changed since 2009), their effective hourly rate shrinks with each successive task they perform. The more work they do on a case, the lower their hourly rate of pay.
In 2012, our research team finished a study of the Los Angeles juvenile justice system aimed at determining whether there were significant differences between the outcomes of clients represented by public defenders and those represented by appointed attorneys. Teams of researchers reviewed more than 3,000 randomly selected cases that spanned four years and came from every juvenile court in Los Angeles. The results, which will be published this fall, clearly demonstrate that there are huge differences in outcomes depending on whether a child is represented by a public defender or a $350-fee attorney.”
Report finds flaws in L.A. County's system for defending children accused of crimes
“Most youths charged with crimes in L.A. County are represented by deputy public defenders if their families can't afford to hire private defense attorneys. When there is a potential conflict of interest — for instance, if the public defender's office is already representing another defendant charged in the same case — private attorneys who contract with the county are appointed. Those lawyers, known as panel attorneys, are paid a flat rate of $340 to $360 per case.
Advocates have argued for years that the rate is too low for the amount of work required to provide an effective defense, and that children suffer as a result.”
Experts Concerned that LA County’s Juvenile Public Defense System Depriving Indigent Youth of Adequate Counsel
“Among other findings, the study — titled “Kids, Counsel and Costs: An Empirical Study of Indigent Defense Services in the Los Angeles Juvenile Delinquency Courts” — determined that juveniles represented by the panel attorneys had a 34 percent higher likelihood of ending up at a higher level of supervision than those facing the same charges but represented by public defenders. Cyn Yamashiro, an attorney and former director of the Center for Juvenile Law and Policy at Loyola Law School and one of the authors of the study, which was recently published in the Criminal Law Bulletin, said the research confirmed how crucial effective lawyering is in juvenile court. He pointed out that the lawyer is the only one who has complete access to a juvenile’s education, medical and psychological history.”
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange
Juvenile Law Center
The Marshall Project