Friday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

Lawmakers Advance Plan to Study Use of Solitary Confinement in Juvenile Jails, The Republic

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas lawmakers have advanced a plan to study the use of solitary confinement in county juvenile jails.

In a 31-0 vote, the Texas Senate approved the measure as part of a broad juvenile justice bill.

State records show juvenile jails placed teenagers in solitary confinement more than 35,000 times last year. Some counties classified “horseplay” among “major violations” leading to confinements of 24 hours. Under current law, the Texas Juvenile Justice Department collects little information about the confinements.

Age-Appropriate Placements Matter in the Transition to Adulthood, Juvenile Law Center

All children deserve to grow up in a safe place with people who care for and love them, and who guide and support them as they grow. Having that safe, stable, and nurturing place to live provides a foundation to learn, dream, and set and meet goals for the future.

Federal and state laws establish policies for foster care, which is meant to be temporary. Goals are to return children to their parents, or place them with family members, or find a home for foster youth with individuals who are committed to making a family with them. While states have made progress in reducing the number of youth in foster care, many youth—especially older youth—remain in the system. Sometimes they stay in care for many years. Far too many of these youth are not placed, as the law requires, in the least restrictive, most family-like setting; they are instead placed in group homes and institutions.

Study: Minority Students Less Likely to Be Identified With Autism, Education Week

he rates of autism for students of all races is on the increase, but students who are black, Hispanic, or American Indian are less likely to be identified with the disability compared to white and Asian students, according to a study published this month in The Journal of Special Education.

The study, “A Multiyear National Profile of Racial Disparity in Autism Identification,” compiled information collected by the federal government from 1998 to 2006 on the race and disability category of students in special education. Using that information, the researchers were able to calculate a “risk index,” or the percentage of all enrolled students from a racial group with a specific disability.

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