Friday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

New Jersey Juveniles Now Entitled to Hearings Before Transfer to State Prisons, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE)

In August, a state appeals court panel ruled that New Jersey juveniles currently housed in youth detention facilities were entitled to hearings before being transferred to adult prisons, according to The Record.

The three-judge appeals panel overturned the transfer of a Cumberland County man – a juvenile at the time of committing his crimes – who was sent to South Woods State Prison in November 2011. Following the decision, a Juvenile Justice Commission Staff will now be required to hold hearings that will allow the detainee to challenge the legality of the transfer, The Record reported.

Lawmakers fume over raises for top officials at troubled juvenile justice agency, Austin American-Statesman

While other state agencies were freezing positions and downsizing because of the tight economy, the state’s juvenile corrections department handed out pay raises in March to 13 top officials — even as the agency was mired in controversy over its inability to curb violence and gang activity at its lockups.

Angry legislative leaders said Thursday that some of the pay hikes, which ranged from $3,500 a year to $14,700, appear to violate Texas law.

The reason: A state budget law banned raises for at least two of the jobs.

Michael Griffiths: The TT Interview, Texas Tribune

On Monday, Griffiths will become the new executive director of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department. The 13-member board voted 7-6 to hire him to replace Jay Kimbrough, who has temporarily led the department since the retirement of Cherie Townsend in May.

[Ed. Note: Click the link above to read an edited transcript of the Texas Tribune’s conversation with the TJJD’s new executive director.]

Alex Hunt

About Alex Hunt

Alex Hunt is a former Yale & Irene Rosenberg Graduate Fellow at the Center for Children, Law & Policy. Alex graduated from the University of Texas in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in government. Before entering law school, he taught middle school math at YES Prep Southwest in Houston with Teach For America. In 2010, he received New Leaders' EPIC Spotlight Teacher Award, a national award for teachers with outstanding student growth. Alex graduated cum laude from the University of Houston Law Center in May 2013. During law school, Alex was Casenotes & Comments Editor for the Houston Journal of International Law, interned for both state and federal judges, and served as Vice President of the Health Law Organization (HLO). In addition, Alex has received the Irving J. Weiner Memorial Scholarship Award (for a year of outstanding work in the UH Law Center Legal Clinic), the Napoleon Beazley Defender Award (for outstanding work on behalf of children), the Ann Dinsmore Forman Memorial Child Advocacy Award, the Mont P. Hoyt Memorial Writing Award for an Outstanding Comment on a Topic in International Law, and he was a finalist for Texas Access to Justice's Law Student Pro Bono Award. Alex is currently in private family law practice with the Hunt Law Firm, P.L.L.C. in Katy, Texas.

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