Weekly Roundup

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Report: Youth Lack Access to Quality Defense Attorneys, Juvenile Justice 

The National Juvenile Defender Center released an analysis that details how the group believes federal, state and local officials, as well as law schools and others, could help ensure more juveniles have access to legal counsel.

The recommendations include appointing counsel for all juveniles without requiring a finding of indigence, requiring a juvenile to meet with an attorney before waiving their right to counsel and implementing new training standards for juvenile defenders.

The report released Monday comes in the midst of the organization’s yearlong campaign “Gault at 50,” which seeks to improve access to quality legal counsel for juveniles in the lead up to the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s 1967 In re Gault decision. The ruling said young people in juvenile court have many of the same rights as adults in criminal court, including the right to counsel.

Is Juvenile Justice Beyond Repair?, The Atlantic 

The Youth First Initiative wants to help end the use of youth prisons. The justice-advocacy group works from the premise that detaining minors—whether in youth facilities or in prisons—is not just a poorly executed practice; it is simply beyond repair.

Incarceration harms kids and creates repeat offenders.

Texas May Be Denying Tens Of Thousands Of Children Special Education, NPR

A recent Houston Chronicle investigation revealed that Texas, the state with the lowest percentage of children in special education, 8.5 in 2015, may arbitrarily be capping services, which are entitled by federal law to students with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, mental illness and other special needs.

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