Register Now for the 14th Annual Zealous Advocacy Conference

About the Conference The Zealous Advocacy Conference, now in its 14th year, is an annual training seminar organized by the Center for Children, Law & Policy and the Southwest Juvenile Defender Center. The conference is the premier professional development training for juvenile public defense attorneys practicing in the Southwestern United States. Topic: Intersection of Race, Gender, […]

Kids and justice

A fascinating new study from the University of Manchester finds children may have a sense of justice at a very early age.  An article by Sindya N. Bhanoo in the New York Times reported: Children as young as age 3 will intervene on behalf of a victim, reacting as if victimized themselves, scientists have found. “The children treated these two violations […]

Federal Government Investigates Dallas Truancy Courts

  Late last March, the Department of Justice announced a federal investigation of the Dallas County Texas Truancy courts.  Based on preliminary investigations, the Justice Department estimated that in 2014, Dallas County prosecuted over 20,000 children for missing class.  Punishing students for truancy may be understandable, but in Dallas students can be arrested in front of their […]

Early Stress Causes Long-Term Impact

For young children in high stress home environments, the effects can be long-term and dramatic.  A new study at the University of Washington found causal evidence that the stress response system suffered extreme, persistent effects based on early caregiving environment.  The study offers new insight to prior, non-human studies of impact on brain development. An article in […]

It’s Gotta Happen… Just Not. In. My. Back. Yard.

In a recent effort to keep juvenile delinquents out of secured detention facilities, New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services stared a program called Close to Home, placing juvenile delinquents who do not pose risks to the public in group homes within the community. While this is a positive move toward reforming the country’s treatment […]

Knowing right from wrong: Circular logic in juvenile punishments

I recently read a blog post on the Marshall Project discussing raising the age of criminal liability in several states, including Texas.  The post clearly and concisely laid out the arguments for and against raising the age and advocated strongly in favor of raising the age, and I recommend reading it if you have any […]

Raising the Age: Is Texas Going “Soft on Crime?”

In the past decade, the Supreme Court has ruled that the death penalty and mandatory life without parole for crimes committed while under the age of eighteen amount to cruel and unusual and are therefore unconstitutional.[1] [2] The Court, or at least a majority of it, appears to believe eighteen is the appropriate age to […]