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, was pleasantly surprised when juvenile crime continued to fall after the Lege cut youth prison populations by an astonishing 2/3, and that result is mainly attributable to the efforts of juvenile probation departments.) At least the first option wouldn’t fall into that trap, though obviously it wouldn’t be ideal. Since the agency reforms first began five years ago, virtually every expert consulted by the state has recommended smaller facilities, not larger ones.

Giving Juveniles Intensive Counseling, The New York Times, Texas

To Mr. Carter, the success of the Phoenix Program is its simplicity: giving youths the attention and structure they need to focus on making a future for themselves. “When they first get here, they have no goals,” he said. “Give them two weeks, and I guarantee they have a goal.”
 
Luis said that for the first time since he entered the system, he had hope he could go home to his mother and his five siblings and eventually go to college. Now he recognizes the physical cues that mean his anger is escalating. He has completed his G.E.D., is working on his high school diploma and has received an acceptance letter from South Texas College….
 
For years, advocates have called on lawmakers to shutter large institutions in remote areas and to create small treatment-focused centers close to cities. The Phoenix Program, Mr. Magnuson said, shows that plan could work. “It’s really the system’s failures that are creating these horrible environments,” Mr. Magnuson said, “and unfortunately it’s these kids’ lives at stake, their futures.”   

Governor Signs Law to Help Sexually Exploited Minors , The Post News Group, California

Swanson explained that these conditions are unreasonable in cases of victims of human trafficking charged with prostitution offenses. “It doesn’t make sense to require a person who was forced into prostitution as a minor to demonstrate rehabilitation in order to clean up his or her records,” he said. “What kind of evidence could a person who was sexually victimized as a child offer to show rehabilitation? It just doesn’t make any legal or common sense to require victims to prove they have been rehabilitated from a crime that was committed against them.” AB 2040 is an important fix to a major problem for these victims, Swanson said. “We need to give these former victims a chance to seal their records without making them jump through burdensome hoops. Our state should be doing everything it can to help these victims get jobs and live productive lives.”

US education orientation for minorities: the school-to-prison pipeline – When a six-year-old girl having tantrum is handcuffed by cops and held in custody, something is very wrong with the system, The Guardian UK, Georgia

The incident not only actually happened, but it is also emblematic of a growing trend that has been dubbed the “school to prison pipeline”. Despite the overwhelming evidence that sending kids to jail has lifelong negative consequences for them, schools are choosing to do just that

Following a New Roadmap to Juvenile Justice, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange

Positive Youth Development, flips the usual approach of criminal justice, which views kids involved with the system as problems to be fixed, on its head. Instead, systems focus on youths’ strengths and work to develop them, while also addressing deficits.

Nine-year-old charged with murder in St. Clair County , KSDK.com, Illinois

The St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Office has charged a nine-year-old with first-degree murder.

Shiloh Carter

About Shiloh Carter

Shiloh Carter is working as a Graduate Fellow for the Center for Children, Law, & Policy. Prior to law school, Shiloh received her bachelor degree in Communications Sciences and Disorders from the University of Texas. As an undergraduate, she worked with children with special needs. During law school, Shiloh worked as a scholar for the Center for Children, Law, & Policy and completed internships with Kids In Need of a Defense (KIND) and the Crimes Against Children Section of the Galveston County District Attorney's Office. In addition, Shiloh volunteers with Child Advocates as a court appointed special advocate and has completed four cases. She has received numerous awards for her dedication to public interest work including the Center for Children, Law, & Policy Napoleon Beazley Defender Award 2013, the University of Houston Law Center Distinguished Service Award 2013, the Ann Dinsmore Forman Memorial Child Advocacy Award 2012, and the Robert Allen Memorial Student Excellence Award 2012.

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