Category Archives: Youth at Risk

Becoming Adults: Children Reared in Foster Care and Youth Services

The road from adolescence to adulthood is bumpy and difficult for even the most well-adjusted teen; but for children in foster care and youth services, a successful transition is often an insurmountable task.  In our society, adulthood is legally defined (in most situations) to occur upon a child’s eighteenth birthday.  For the typical child this […]

Sunday’s Children & the Law News Roundup

When Children Kill Other Children, Juvenile Justice Blog So, the question becomes a choice between different theories of punishment: retribution or rehabilitation. Must we exact revenge on children when they murder other children? Must we cast them out of society until they are old and enfeebled, as we do with the majority of adults convicted […]

Motorcycle Passenger Age Restrictions Needed to Protect Kids

A Washington Attorney General Opinion in 1984 determined that riding with a child as a passenger on a motorcycle under 5 years old was unsafe and therefore illegal.  This decision was made in part because child safety seats are required in cars and motorcycles do not have similar restraint options. Until adequate child restraint devices […]

Friday’s Children & the Law News Roundup

Texas Juvenile Justice Department may eliminate 20% of executive staff , Grits for Breakfast blog, Texas The new head of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD), Mike Griffiths, plans to shake up agency management, the Austin Statesman’s Mike Ward reported today, reducing the number of top supervisory staff by as much as 20%, and has […]

Tuesday’s Children & the Law News Roundup

For Children and Families, It’s a Poorly Mixed World, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange A poorly mixed world indeed. It is hardly surprising that Americans spend the largest percentage of their income on housing and that residential areas are now segregated not only by race and ethnicity but also by socioeconomic class. In 1970, 66 percent […]

Education and Immigration

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals held that Alabama’s immigration law requiring public schools to check the citizenship status of new students was unconstitutional. The Court maintained that the provision singles out children who are in the country illegally, and keeps undocumented children from enrolling and attending school. School officials reported that the parents of […]

Sunday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

Juvenile justice agency outlines critical needs, plans for 10% budget cut, Grits for Breakfast Blog, Texas The risk to consolidating juvenile probation with youth prisons was always that, when push came to shove with the budget, “secure facilities” would be prioritized over community based programming, which has by all accounts worked well. (Everyone, myself included, […]

Collateral Consequences: Download this Handy Resource for Children and Families

It is critical that children and families understand their options before making any legal decisions regarding children involved in the juvenile justice system.  The implications for children found guilty by the juvenile court can have far-reaching implications and collateral consequences for both children and their families.  Often involvement in the system is confusing and overwhelming […]

Texas Probation Officer Fired After Sexually Assaulting a Minor Child in Juvenile Detention

Robert Robinson, a juvenile probation supervisor, was recently fired for repeatedly sexually assaulting a minor child in Harris County’s juvenile detention facility. The news coverage describes his actions as “engaging in a sexual affair”, as if to minimize or provide some sort of justification to Robinson’s actions. Let’s be clear, according to the laws of […]

Minorities, Immigration & Educational Policy in the News

Education Week Snippet: “White House Initiative Targets Education for African Americans” by Lesli A. Maxwell. President Obama signed an executive order to launch the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans. The purpose of the initiative is to help high-school and college-bound African Americans by creating “greater access to a complete and competitive […]

A Summary of U.S. Supreme Court 2011-12 Term Decisions Affecting Children & Education

Education Week’s “High Court Highlights” of the 2011-12 term, provides a nice recap of the Supreme Court’s high-profile cases that have left implications on public education, juvenile justice, and more. IMMIGRATION: Arizona v. United States Court upheld a measure requiring police to determine the immigration status of someone they stop, and reasonably suspect to be […]

NO Throw Away Kids

I am deeply troubled by yesterday’s article in the Texas Tribune about kids in juvenile justice facilities being assessed in order to transfer the so-called bad ones to adult facilities. Jay Kimbrough, interim Executive Director of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD), and Texas State Senator John Whitmire seem to think sending these children to […]