Class-action Suit: Kids in Immigration Court with No Lawyers to Help

A coalition of civil rights groups filed a nationwide class-action suit last week alleging that putting children into immigration court without counsel violates both constitutional due-process rights and immigration law.

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Kids On Hook For Limitless Sums After Crimes

To say that juvenile restitution is complicated is an understatement. It’s a process that wrestles with two competing philosophies around the idea of justice: justice for victims who have the right to be paid for their losses — even when the offender spends time in jail — and justice for juvenile offenders, who need to be held accountable but also allowed to move on from their crimes, and from the system.

This story is part of Double Charged, a special report on the U.S. juvenile justice system produced by Youth Radio.  In this article you can also find a link to Youth Radio’s Innovation Lab which invites you to follow along with a few characters so you can watch as the court related costs add up.

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Cops and Community, How to Repair a Broken Relationship

It is difficult to repair a broken relationship, one built on years of distrust. It is especially tough if you are the parent of a child forever getting caught up in the juvenile justice system, knowing their kid can be harassed and possibly injured or arrested for simply walking down the street.

So how can we as a community come together to mend this problem that has damaged countless lives for far too long?

To continue to this article click here. It was written by Alton Pitre, a 23-year-old native of Los Angeles, Calif. He is a juvenile justice ambassador, studies journalism at LA Valley College and was recently accepted to Morehouse College

The Criminalization of Black Youth and the Rise of Restorative Justice

Along with racial profiling and other legal harassment, like stop-and-frisk, being pushed through a window by police has apparently become a new reality for brown-skinned kids. Yet how is such aggression and violence justified by law enforcement, and are these incidents to be imagined as mere coincidence – or explained as reflective of black pathology rather than police pathology?

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The MacArthur Foundation and SAMHSA Select States for a New Initiative to Aid Youth with Behavioral Health Needs

The MacArthur Foundation and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently announced that Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, and Tennessee have been selected to participate in the Improving Diversion Policies and Programs for Justice-Involved Youth with Behavioral Health Disorders: An Integrated Policy Academy-Action Network Initiative.

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Senators Booker and Paul Introduce the REDEEM Act

Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced the REDEEM Act (The Record Expungement Designed to Enhance Employment Act), which aims to reduce barriers to employment created by having a criminal record.

  • Incentivizes states to increase the age of criminal responsibility to 18-years-old by offering preference to Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant applications for those that have set 18 or older as the age of original jurisdiction for adult criminal courts.
  • Offers adults a way to seal non-violent criminal records.
  • Provides for automatic expungement of records for kids who commit non-violent crimes before they turn 15 and automatic sealing of records for those who commit non-violent crimes after they turn 15 years old.
  • Restricts use of juvenile solitary confinement.
  • Lifts ban on SNAP and TANF benefits for low-level drug offenders.

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A New Report Explores Strategies To Serve Youth in Their Communities

The National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD) has released Close to Home: Strategies to Place Young People in Their Communities. This policy brief describes strategies for juvenile justice stakeholders to reduce the number of young people placed in secure facilities. Key strategies include developing a decision point to review alternatives to out-of-home placement, building a local continuum of placement and treatment options, and reducing lengths of stay in facilities at various points in the system.

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