Juvenile Law Center

Publications

Access to Counsel|Youth Fostering Change|Child Welfare and Foster Care|Youth Engagement Programs

The Youth Empowerment Card would ideally be available in family court and would be distributed at places youth in foster care frequent, such as court or service providers’ offices. This card summarizes important rights in court and includes tips to empower youth to speak up in court. The tips were based off youth advocates’ own experiences in court.

Access to Education|Ban the Box|Child Welfare and Foster Care|Community and School Reentry|Juvenile and Criminal Justice|Second Chances|Transitions to Adulthood (Foster Care)
Ending Solitary Confinement|Juvenile and Criminal Justice

Despite a growing consensus that solitary confinement harms youth and undermines the rehabilitative goals of the juvenile justice system, the practice remains all too common. At the same time, the field lacks sufficient information on the prevalence of the practice, the alternatives, and the perspectives of affected youth and families. This report uses surveys of public defenders, conversations with youth and families, interviews with correctional administrators, and legal and psychological research to fill these gaps and set forth recommendations for reform.

Juvenile and Criminal Justice|Trauma and Trauma Informed Advocacy

A strip search is a “search that requires a person to remove or arrange some clothing so as to permit a visual inspection of the person’s breasts, buttocks, or genitalia.” Strip searches may also involve “inspections of the scalp, ears, hands, feet, mouth, and nose.” Depending on state law, a strip search can be visual, physical, or a combination of both and may also involve a body cavity search.

The best policy is to eliminate strip searches of youth for any circumstance, as is the policy for adjudicated youth in Missouri.

Access to Education|Child Welfare and Foster Care|Juvenile and Criminal Justice|Older Youth with Disabilities|Transitions to Adulthood (Foster Care)
A Toolkit to Help Pennsylvania Youth in Foster Care and the Juvenile Justice System Prepare for IEP Meetings

Juvenile Law Center collaborated with Disability Rights Pennsylvania and Education Law Center to design a toolkit to help transition-age youth and their advocates prepare for IEP meetings and develop strong IEP Transition Plans. The toolkit helps these youth and their advocates actively engage in the transition planning process by allowing them to set goals, identify barriers, and brainstorm possible services in advance of the IEP meeting.

Cost of Justice|Juvenile and Criminal Justice
The High Cost of Fines and Fees in the Juvenile Justice System

Approximately one million youth appear in juvenile court each year. Costs, fees, fines, or restitution are imposed in every state. These financial penalties increase recidivism, push impoverished young people deeper into the juvenile justice system, exacerbate racial disparities in the juvenile justice system, and heighten economic and emotional distress for families already struggling financially. Approximately one million youth appear in juvenile court each year. Costs, fees, fines, or restitution are imposed in every state. These financial penalties increase recidivism, push impoverished young people deeper into the juvenile justice system, exacerbate racial disparities in the juvenile justice system, and heighten economic and emotional distress for families already struggling financially.

Child Welfare and Foster Care|Older Youth with Disabilities|Transitions to Adulthood (Foster Care)

Beginning August 1, 2016, foster youth can submit an application and get a disability determination 6 months before their expected discharge date, even if they do not yet meet the income eligibility requirements due to their foster care payments.

Juvenile and Criminal Justice|Juvenile Records Expungement|Second Chances

Juvenile records follow youth well into adulthood and create barriers to employment and education. Protecting records is at the heart of the juvenile justice system’s aim to rehabilitate youth and yet, when unprotected, records punish youth indefinitely. In Future Interrupted, Juvenile Law Center urges that we allow children to grow up unfettered by their childhood mistakes—to have their court involvement remain in the past so they can move forward with their lives.

Child Welfare and Foster Care|Normalcy for Foster Youth

On September 29, 2014, President Obama signed the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (“SFA”) into law. The law includes important provisions for older youth in foster care. This issue brief outlines the provisions of the SFA relating to older youth and suggests how courts can effectively implement them.

Access to Education|Child Welfare and Foster Care|Transitions to Adulthood (Foster Care)
How It Can Help Unaccompanied Homeless Youth and Foster Youth

This position paper addresses numerous questions about how the Higher Education Access and Success for Homeless and Foster Youth Act can help homeless and foster youth.

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One of the most important lessons from our 40 years of experience is that children involved with the justice and foster care systems need zealous legal advocates. Your support for our work is more important now than ever before. Support