Weekly Roundup

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Lost girls: Young women face harsher punishment in Maryland’s juvenile justice system, The Baltimore Sun

Young women are disproportionately locked up for misdemeanors, which are low-level offenses, in Maryland’s juvenile justice system. And they are more likely than boys to be taken before a judge for probation offenses such as running away, breaking curfew and defying their parents.

Once in the system, they are often detained longer. At the state’s most secure facilities, they are committed 25 percent longer, on average, than boys, even though girls are less likely to be there for felonies or violent offenses.

Native American Education: What Will It Take To Fix The ‘Epitome of Broken’?, NPR News

Officials at the Bureau of Indian Education estimate that roughly one-third of their school buildings are in poor condition. To fix them, they say it’ll take more than $1.3 billion. That’s why a big part of the reform effort is to build new schools and repair old ones.

Schools Are Failing LGBTQ Youth, But Here’s How You Can Help Bustle

School can be a tough environment for anyone, but for LGBTQ youth, facing harassment, bullying, and abuse can make a serious impact in both their short- and long-term health. And according to recent data from the Human Rights Watch, state-run schools are failing LGBTQ youth in the United States by not doing something that should be a requirement: Keeping them safe. Safety is integral to having a healthy and happy learning experience, and when schools fail to keep their students safe, they’re fundamentally failing in their mission.

Weekly Roundup

Report: Youth Lack Access to Quality Defense Attorneys, Juvenile Justice 

The National Juvenile Defender Center released an analysis that details how the group believes federal, state and local officials, as well as law schools and others, could help ensure more juveniles have access to legal counsel.

The recommendations include appointing counsel for all juveniles without requiring a finding of indigence, requiring a juvenile to meet with an attorney before waiving their right to counsel and implementing new training standards for juvenile defenders.

The report released Monday comes in the midst of the organization’s yearlong campaign “Gault at 50,” which seeks to improve access to quality legal counsel for juveniles in the lead up to the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s 1967 In re Gault decision. The ruling said young people in juvenile court have many of the same rights as adults in criminal court, including the right to counsel.

Is Juvenile Justice Beyond Repair?, The Atlantic 

The Youth First Initiative wants to help end the use of youth prisons. The justice-advocacy group works from the premise that detaining minors—whether in youth facilities or in prisons—is not just a poorly executed practice; it is simply beyond repair.

Incarceration harms kids and creates repeat offenders.

Texas May Be Denying Tens Of Thousands Of Children Special Education, NPR

A recent Houston Chronicle investigation revealed that Texas, the state with the lowest percentage of children in special education, 8.5 in 2015, may arbitrarily be capping services, which are entitled by federal law to students with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, mental illness and other special needs.

Weekly Roundup

Fights Abound at the Overpopulated Harris County Juvenile Detention Center, Houston Press

The Harris County Juvenile Detention Center has kicked into “emergency staffing” mode given that the 250-capacity detention center was housing 295 kids as of September 22. By the last week of September, the population has grown to 311.

The Children Act 25 years on — and why the laws on cohabiting couples need reform, The TIMES.

This week sees the 25th anniversary of the implementation of the Children Act 1989, arguably the most important piece of family legislation that we have seen in the past 100 years.

It profoundly changed the law affecting children. Tucked away, at schedule 1 to the Act, was an equally important change, setting out unmarried parents’ rights to financial provision for their children from their former partner.

How America Outlawed Adolescence, The Atlantic

At least 22 states make it a crime to disturb school in ways that teenagers are wired to do. Why did this happen?

Each year, about 1,200 kids are charged with disturbing school in the state—some for yelling and shoving, others for cursing.

State law makes it a crime to “disturb in any way or in any place the students or teachers of any school” or “to act in an obnoxious manner.” The charge, which has been filed against kids as young as 7, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, is punishable by up to 90 days in jail or a $1,000 fine.