Weekly Round Up (September 24, 2019)

Florida officer fired for ‘traumatic’ arrests of two 6-year-old students at school

An Orlando school resource officer who arrested two 6-year-old children on the same day last week was fired Monday amid growing outcry, officials said.

Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolón said Dennis Turner, who had been suspended after the incidents Thursday at a charter school, did not follow the department’s policy requiring approval from a supervisor for any arrest of a minor younger than 12.

“On behalf of myself and the entire Orlando Police Department, I apologize to the children involved and their families,” Rolón said during a news conference Monday. “As a grandfather of three children less than 11 years old, I can only imagine how traumatic this was for everyone involved.”  Read More

State Bar Board Takes Position Against Indiscriminate Juvenile Shackling

The State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors, which represents the membership through elected seats in 16 districts, has voted unanimously to support a policy position against the indiscriminate shackling of juveniles in juvenile court.

Specifically, the State Bar now supports a no-shackling presumption but recognizes that judges would retain authority to order shackling if necessary, as a matter of safety.

“The State Bar believes the practice [of shackling juveniles] impedes the attorney-client privilege, chills juveniles’ constitutional right to due process, runs counter to the presumption of innocence, and draws into question the rehabilitative ideals of the juvenile court,” the State Bar’s adopted policy position states.  Read More


On any given day, more than 53,000 youth in the United States are being held in a detention center or criminal justice facility, according to the Prison Policy Initiative, a national nonprofit and non-partisan advocacy group.
Stuck in a school-to-prison pipeline, these youth are being funneled from the classroom to the courtroom to incarceration – a phenomenon that is disproportionately impacting students of color who come from economically disadvantaged families, suffer from learning and mental disabilities and languish in school systems that don’t provide sufficient resources or support, Rhode Island College Assistant Professor of Educational Studies Jeremy Benson said.
“Over the last 40 years or so, we’ve seen ideas, practices and personnel from the criminal justice system permeate our educational system – primarily in poor and working class urban schools – with profoundly harmful effects on the educational trajectories and life chances of youth of color in particular,” said Benson, whose research centers on the political economy of urban education, critical race theory and educational inequality, policing and mass incarceration

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Getting it Right for children using data to target Gaps in due process, with a focus on: Arizona: Bringing Gault Home, An Assessment of Access to and Quality of Juvenile Defense Counsel

The Center for Children, Law, & Policy at the University of Houston Law Center hosted a 50th-year anniversary for Gault more than a year ago, celebrating the game changing United Supreme Court case that “affirm[ed] children’s constitutional right to due process.” The Gault case began in Arizona, and the National Juvenile Devender Center (“NJDC”) also celebrated the 50th-year anniversary of Gault – by checking in to gather data on the true outcomes post-Gault in Arizona, with improvements suggested in Arizona Bringing Gault Home.

The results between counties in Arizona were mixed, with some counties providing counsel representation for children, others in Arizona continued to ignore due process by not providing Gault-required services. All assessments completed by the NJDC are available at http://njdc.info/our-work/juvenile-indigent-defense-assessments/, and an article providing additional information can be found here http://njdc.info/our-work/juvenile-indigent-defense-assessments/arizona-assessment/.

The reports in Arizona show children continue to be underserved, and Bringing Gault Home recommends, in part, the following improvements:

  • Automatically appointing counsel to all youth,
  • Giving youth an opportunity to consult with a lawyer prior to the court considering accepting any waiver of counsel,
  • Appointing counsel for all youth prior to their first appearance before a judge and ensuring access to counsel for youth post-disposition,
  • Improving the collection and reportability of data,
  • Implementing policies and practices to address significant racial disparities, and
  • Ensuring youth receive legal representation that is individualized and rooted in adolescent development.

A news story on the release of information from the NJDC may also be found at: https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-child-welfare/2018/09/25/study-juvenile-justice-arizona-hurt-uneven-representation-fees/1362562002/.


SAVE THE DATE!!!! November 12th at noon we will be hosting a CLE with a delegation from Swansea, Wales on ways to improve Juvenile Justice services using techniques successful in Wales. Please feel free to message us on the blog for more information!