Tuesday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

Juvenile Law Change Forbids Minors From Being Held in Adult Prison (Philadelphia) The Times Tribune

Juvenile justice advocates are applauding a rule change recently enacted by the state Supreme Court that precludes authorities from holding juveniles in adult prisons pending their appearance in juvenile court.

The rule, enacted on June 28, clarifies the definition of a detention facility to specifically prohibit county or state jails and extends the definition of a juvenile to include a minor who has been detained for violation of the terms of their probation.

The Juvenile Court Procedural Rules Committee suggested the rule change after learning of concerns that juveniles were sometimes being temporarily held in adult prisons pending a hearing in juvenile court to determine if the minor had committed the alleged violation that led to their detention.

Indiana High Court Increases Difficulty of Placing Minors on Sex Offender Registries, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange

In a 5-0 decision, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled on Monday that before juvenile court judges can place minors on sex offender registries, evidentiary hearings must be held to determine whether the youth is likely to reoffend.

At the hearings, juvenile offenders must be given the opportunity to have counsel representation, be allowed to challenge evidence brought forth by prosecutors and present their own evidence, wrote Justice Loretta Rush in the court’s opinion.

“It is well within a trial court’s discretion to hold more than one hearing to determine whether a juvenile’s risk of re-offending warrants placing them on the sex offender registry,” Rush wrote. “But when it does so, every hearing held for that purpose must be an ‘evidentiary hearing…’ That is, juveniles must have the opportunity to challenge the State’s evidence and present evidence of their own.”

Esther Kim

About Esther Kim

Esther Kim is a third year student at the University of Houston Law Center. She graduate from Wesleyan University in 2007 with a B.A. in Liberal Arts with a focus in Chinese Language and Literature. As an undergraduate, she worked one summer at the Citizens' Committee for Children, New York, a child advocacy organization, where she developed an interest in children's rights, community after-school resources, and immigration. Esther has recently been selected to be an Equal Justice Works Fellow, sponsored by Texas Access to Justice Foundation, at Lone Star Legal Aid, where she will be working closely with Asian victims of domestic violence in Harris and Fort Bend Counties.

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