Sunday’s Children & the Law News Roundup

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2011 National Climate Survey: LGBT Youth Face Pervasive, but Decreasing Levels of Harassment, GLSEN


8 out of 10 LGBT Students Experience Harassment, But School-Based Resources and Supports Are Making a Difference



2012 Human Trafficking Awareness Month, Rescue & Restore, Houston

September 10, 2012
HIWJ Event: Houston Domestic Workers Speak Out
Join Houston Interfaith Worker Justice Center at the University of Houston Clear Lake for an evening program. House-cleaners and caregivers will be sharing their personal experiences as domestic workers and the types of working conditions they have endured.
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Venue: University of Houston Clear Lake, 2700 Bay Area Boulevard, Houston , TX, 77058, United States

September 11, 2012
Human Trafficking Film Series: “The Whistleblower”
Every Tuesday night during Human Trafficking Awareness Month, a different film will be shown. This Tuesday, September 11th, we will be screening “The Whistleblower”.
6:30 pm -9:00 pm
Venue:Studio Movie Grill–City Centre, 822 TOWN & COUNTRY BLVD, Houston, TX, 77024, United States

September 12, 2012
Fair Trade Chocolate Tasting/Fundraiser
Indulge your sweet tooth while also learning about how buying Fair Trade works to help eliminating human trafficking at the Chocolate Bar. In addition, 20% of the total sales from the evening will be donate to HRRC.
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Venue: The Chocolate Bar, 2521 University Blvd, Houston, TX, United States

September 14, 2012
Justice for Human Trafficking Survivors: Civil Litigation in U.S. Courts
Tahirih Justice Center, Children at Risk, and the law firm Jones Day are teaming up to host a Free CLE for attorneys and service providers. Justice for Human Trafficking Survivors: Civil Litigation in U.S. Courts, will be presented by Martina E. Vandenberg, an Open Society Fellow. The event will take place on Friday, September 14 at 11:30 am. Lunch will be provided. For additional details and to RSVP please contact Anne Chandler at
11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Venue: Jones Day, 717 Texas, Ste 3300 , Houston, TX, 77002-2712, United States

Girls Poorly Served by Juvenile Justice System, Say Authors, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange

“Most of the girls are running away from abuse,” said Jyoti Nanda, author of “Blind Discretion: Girls of Color and Delinquency in the Juvenile Justice System” and core faculty member in both the David J. Epstein Public Interest Law Program and the Critical Race Studies Program at the University of California Los Angeles School of Law. “Most of the homeless girls are victims of violence,” she said. “They’re less likely to run away just for the purpose of leaving,” and if they leave, it is a sign of something deeply wrong.

“There doesn’t seem to be an awareness on the part of any of the players [in the juvenile justice system] on what uniquely impacts the girls,” said Nanda. Girls’ brains develop earlier than boys’ do. So do their bodies, which can bring unwanted attention.

The key difficulty for Nanda is discretion—judges and law enforcement officers have great power over the fate of girls they encounter. The system was designed with good intentions, she said, recalling a time when wayward youths would be sent to parents with only a warning. But it doesn’t work like that, she said. Instead, a few people have unchecked power over each juvenile.

The Harm We Do: Kids in Solitary Confinement, Kids in the System

Putting juvenile offenders in solitary confinement is high on my list of “cruel and unusual punishment.” What else do you call locking up fifteen, sixteen year olds, some even younger, in total isolation for 24 hours a day, in some cases for months at a time, never leaving their cells? “All an inmate’s needs are met right here,” was the way the warden of the adult county jail where I taught high school students proudly described it as he gave a group of professionals a tour of the new Special Housing Unit (SHU). It was true. Each cell had its own phone, shower, toilet, concrete bed, and adjacent small enclosed rec area. All an inmate’s needs were met, except for the most essential: human contact of any kind.

Federal Court to Weigh Evidence in Civil Rights Suit Involving Teens Jailed in Polk, The Ledger, Florida

In March, the group filed a federal class action civil rights lawsuit that outlines abuses against juveniles housed at the Polk County Jail, including not having enough specialized supervision for juveniles and allowing a hostile environment to exist. The trial is scheduled for May.

For more info, click on Youth v. Polk County Sheriff

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