Weekly Roundup

“To be sure, the law – signed Monday by Gov. Cuomo in a celebratory ceremony – represents a major change in how the state deals with 16- and 17-years-old defendants, diverting the majority of those cases directly to Family Court or to judges with access to social services and special training.” Read more


The bill is available here: http://legislation.nysenate.gov/pdf/bills/2017/a3009c

“Over the past ten years, half of the states that had previously excluded all 16- and/or 17-year-olds from juvenile court based solely on their age have changed their laws so that most youth under age 18 who touch the justice system will fall under the jurisdiction of the juvenile justice system. These policy changes are part of a shift to “raise the age”–reforms focused on moving out of the adult criminal justice system the tens of thousands of youth under 18 who are automatically treated as adults because of age of jurisdiction laws. States have raised the age for many reasons, one of which is research showing that justice-involved teenagers are more likely to move past delinquency and successfully transition to adulthood if they are served by a juvenile justice system, not an adult criminal justice system.”

The full report is available here: http://www.justicepolicy.org/research/11239

“The Texas House Juvenile Justice & Family Issues Committee considered HB 122 (Dutton) on March 8, 2017, one of several “raise the age” bills filed in the House. The Committee heard testimony in support of the bill from advocates, district court judges, concerned parents, and several young people whose lives have been affected by their involvement at age 17 with the criminal justice system.” Read more.


16th Zealous Advocacy Conference Agenda

We’re excited to share with you the 16th Zealous Advocacy Conference Agenda. 

Please visit the Center of Children, Law and Policy website for the registration form and more information.

(Subject to Change)

Friday, April 21, 2017

8:30 AM – 9:00 AM: Breakfast & Conference Registration
9:00 AM – 10:15 AM: Welcome: Gault and the Right to Counsel for Juveniles
Lisa Queen Attorney at Maricopa County, Arizona
10:15 AM – 11:30 AM: The Effect of Gault on the Representation of Juveniles in Juvenile Court (Ethics credit)
Hon. Darlene Byrne, 126th District Court—Travis County, Texas;
Lisa Queen
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM: Civil Rights and Juvenile Justice
Amanda Powell, National Juvenile Defender Center
12:30 PM – 2:00 PM: Street Law – Mock Trial (LUNCH WILL BE PROVIDED)
Hon. Darlene Byrne, 126th District Court—Travis County, Texas;
President of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
2:00 PM – 2:45 PM: Discussion on the importance of Education
Akeem Hunt, Texan Football Player
2:45 PM – 4:00 PM: LGBTQ Representation and Education
Dustin Rynder, Disability Rights Texas, Staff Attorney
Currey Cook, Director of the Youth in Out-of-Home Care Project at Lambbda Legal
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Ethics Game (Ethics Credit)
Prof. Ellen Marrus, University of Houston Law Center &
Chris Phillis, Director, Maricopa County Public Advocate


Saturday, April 22, 2017

8:30 AM – 9:00 AM: Breakfast & Conference Registration
9:00 AM – 10:30 AM: Human Trafficking Panel
Hon. Angela Ellis, 315th District Court, Harris County, TX
Sherri Zack, Assistant U.S. Attorney from the U.S. Department of Justice
Elise Griesmeyer, Catholic Charities Cabrini Center’s Crime Victims Supervisor
Olivia Barvin, Catholic Charities Cabrini Center Staff Attorney

Neena Satija, Journalist from the Texas Tribune

10:30 AM – 11:45 AM: Tribal Issues: Representing Native Americans
Nadia Seeratan, National Juvenile Defender Center
James Simermeyer, Assistant Director of Diversity and Public interest at University of New Mexico School of Law
11:45 AM – 12:15 PM: Lunch (provided)
12:15 PM – 2:00 PM: Appellate Review (Ethics Credit)
Amanda Powell, National Juvenile Defender Center
2:00 PM – 3:30 PM: Immigrant Youth Legal Representation Panel
Dalia Castillo-Granados, Director at Children’s Immigration Law Academy (CILA)
Liz Shields, Supervising Attorney for Pro Bono Programs at Kids In Need of Defense – Houston
Lauren Fisher, Supervising Attorney at The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights – Houston
3:30 PM – 3:45 PM: Break
3:45 PM – 5:00 PM: Ethics Panel (Ethics Credit)
Prof. Ellen Marrus, University of Houston Law Center &
Chris Phillis, Director, Maricopa County Public Advocate

Weekly Roundup

A couple Texas Legislative updates:

“But that only works if the grants are large enough to encourage districts to participate. If the Legislature provides $236 million for the 2018-19 biennium, and the same number of students are served, the program will continue to provide $734 per student, which is about half of the $1,500 originally envisioned for the program. If the Legislature provides less funding, it will cut short the investment that has been made and threaten to sabotage the program.”  Read More.

“With the session fast approaching the halfway mark, the only thing House and Senate budget writers are virtually certain to pay for is two more years’ worth of the emergency pay raises and new hires that state GOP leaders granted to CPS in December. But that’s only about one-quarter of the new money that the Department of Family and Protective Services, CPS’ parent agency, has said it needs in the next budget cycle to rein in abuse of vulnerable children and elderly Texans.” Read more.


“Texas legislators from both chambers unanimously passed bills on Wednesday that would change how the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services cares for vulnerable children.The simultaneous debates in both chambers came as advocates have pushed for months for lawmakers to take drastic measures to fix the state’s broken child welfare system. Gov. Greg Abbott announced the issue as one of four emergency items during his State of the State address in January. While the Senate debate drew no fireworks, over in the House, a proposed amendment to one of the bills that would have excluded undocumented people from accessing state funds aimed at helping some families caring for abused or neglected children prompted more than an hour of tense exchanges.” Read More.