Thursday’s Children & the Law News Roundup

Supreme Court Issues Notice to Centre on Disparity in Law Over Age For Sexual Consent for Married Women, New Delhi, www.NDTV.com

New DelhiThe Supreme Court today issued a notice to the Centre and sought its response on removing disparity in law relating to the age for sexual consent for married women. This comes after a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by an organisation, Independent Thought, said: “Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code allows sexual relationship with a married girl at the age of 15 and does not treat it as rape, whereas anyone below the age of 18 is a child under various laws – juvenile justice act, protection of children against sexual offenses act.”

 

Florida Law Enhances Special Education Rights 

Florida enacted a new law this week intended to reiterate the rights of parents of special education students, including a provision that parents must agree to have their child placed on a track to earn a non-standard diploma, and that schools cannot discourage parents from bringing an adult of their choice to individualized education program meetings.

Many of the new provisions underline rights that were already a part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, but that parents nevertheless had a difficult time enforcing, Siegel said. Parents have always been a part of IEP team meetings, but Siegel said she has heard of cases where schools were shifting students onto special diploma tracks without giving parents an opportunity to object, or to even see the information that was prompting such a decision. The parents were then forced to shoulder the burden of proving that such a placement was inappropriate. Special, non-standard diplomas also cannot be used to enroll in college or the military, so a student with a special diploma can have limited options after graduation, she said.

The burden has now shifted to the school. Schools must also show why it is necessary for a student to be enrolled in a school that only students with disabilities attend.

Thursday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

Pennsylvania Finds 20 Percent of Juveniles Re-Offend Within Two Years, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange

A new report issued by the Pennsylvania Juvenile Court Judges’ Commissionfinds that among juveniles whose cases were closed in 2007, one-in-five recidivated within two years.

The Pennsylvania Juvenile Justice Recidivism Report found juvenile recidivism rates to be as high as 45 percent in some counties, with the average length between case closure and recidivism to be 11.5 months.

 Emergency Measles Vaccination Campaign to Protect 125,000 Children in Central African Republic, Unicef

UNICEF and its partners are mounting an emergency measles vaccination campaign in Bangui, the conflict-hit capital of the Central African Republic, after eight children tested positive for the disease in April.

Working with the Ministry of Health, World Health Organization and NGO partners Merlin, IMC, ACF, PU-AMI and COOPI, UNICEF aims to reach 125, 000 children during the 22-26 May campaign.

Recent fighting in the country has led to a breakdown of basic services and increased the risk of disease outbreaks in Bangui and across the country. This, along with poor living conditions, and a historically low vaccination rate for measles of 62 per cent, means that the lives of large numbers of children are now at risk from the disease.

The Oklahoma Tornado: How to Talk to Children About Tragedy and Disaster, The Huffington Post

On Monday, May 20th, an Oklahoma tornado crashed through suburbs, leveling entire neighborhoods, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow to an elementary school. How much more heartbreaking does it get?

In the aftermath of the Oklahoma tornado tragedy if you’re wondering how to talk to children about tragedy and natural disasters, you’re not alone. It’s totally normal to be bamboozled by such catastrophe. The key, however, is including children in the dialogue.

In India, Rapists Don’t Spare Children, Inter Press Service

According to a recent report by the New Delhi-based Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR), sexual offences against children in India have reached an “epidemic proportion”.

The 56-page report, citing National Crimes Record Bureau (NCRB) statistics, stated that rape cases increased from 2,113 cases in 2001 to 7,112 cases in 2011, with a total of 48,338 cases in that period.

D.C. Circuit Weighs Child Pornography Restitution Case, The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times

The thorny question of how to calculate restitution to victims of child pornography came back before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit last week, with the U.S. Department of Justice defending a proposed formula.

Friday’s arguments marked the second time the court considered the case of Michael Monzel. Monzel pleaded guilty to one count each of distribution and possession of child pornography. A trial judge ordered Monzel to pay $5,000 to a victim known by the pseudonym “Amy,” but on remand from the D.C. Circuit reduced the award to zero, finding the government didn’t produce evidence on how much of Amy’s losses he caused.

The government appealed, arguing U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler was wrong to reduce the award and that its proposed formula – dividing a victim’s total losses by the number of individuals found criminally responsible and then adjusting based on certain factors – represented a fair solution. Monzel’s lawyer, Federal Public Defender A.J. Kramer, said the formula was arbitrary and that Kessler was right to reduce the award after the government presented no evidence linking his client to specific losses.

Tuesday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

Juveniles in Indian-controlled Kashmir denied justice, PressTV

In a stark revelation on the grim human rights scenario in Indian-controlled Kashmir, a fact finding report by New Delhi based Asian Centre for Human Rights has termed the situation of juveniles in Kashmir as the worst in India.

The report, which happens to be the first ever documentation on juvenile justice situation in India’s conflict-ridden areas, states that minors in Kashmir continue to be illegally detained under Public Safety Act (PSA) that provides for up to two years of preventive detention.

In absence of juvenile facilities for minor boys and girls, a brazen violation of 1997 J&K Juvenile Justice Act, minors are locked up in prisons with adults.

The report has documented six cases in which the minors have been detained in violation of Juvenile Justice Act and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Criminal justice reference site a worthwhile stop, Wisconsin Law Journal

The National Criminal Justice Reference Service “is a federally funded resource offering justice and drug-related information to support research, policy, and program development worldwide.”

The website includes a wide variety of publications, library abstracts, topical summaries, and a list of related links/websites.

To browse the site’s various topics, the researcher can select the “A-Z topics” link. Choosing an area of interest will produce a list of questions and answers specific to that topic. The webpage will also include links to relevant free and fee based publications. As an added service, the webpage includes a “Find in a library link” providing possible alternative methods for obtaining the article.

The researcher may also choose one of the broader subject-based menu options, including corrections, courts, crime, crime prevention, drugs, justice system, juvenile justice, law enforcement, and victims. From there, the user can conduct a keyword search or review the various subcategories to locate information.

The website contains a wealth of data and general information related to the various areas of criminal justice and is a worthwhile stop when conducting this type of research. If the material is of particular interest, users can also register to receive various newsletters and notifications.