Youth Justice Law and Practice

Young people deserve legal protection and experienced lawyers to challenge unconstitutional laws, challenge unfair policies or practices, and hold systems accountable for harms to youth and their families. We defend the constitutional right to due process and access to legal representation. We fight for racial and economic justice for youth and their families. The Criminal Justice Programme`s juvenile justice projects aim to support the transformation of juvenile justice and the child protection and family policing systems through the creation of key research and policy projects. We strive to engage students in the practice of community advocacy, immerse them in juvenile justice policy and practice, and empower a new generation of advocates in the juvenile justice movement. Our research and advocacy focuses on the following topics: Collateral consequences of the juvenile justice system, including the impact of fines, fees and licence suspensions on minors Since the founding of Just for Kids Law, juvenile justice has been a major focus of our work. In addition to specialized criminal justice practice, we advocate for systemic change to prevent children from being treated as criminals and to ensure that the voices of children and youth are heard when they are drawn into the criminal justice system. The author proposes to end the citation diversion program and transfer responsibility for dealing with all minor non-traffic violations to the county Office of Youth Development and Distraction (YDD). whereas certain offences should be decriminalised; that all pending citations be rejected prior to the closure of the ARC; and that all youth licences suspended under the HRC be reinstated. We have a proud history of strategic litigation aimed at effecting change and protecting the rights of children and youth in the criminal justice system. The Center for Juvenile Law & Policy (CJLP) at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles recently received a competitive $1 million grant from the Everychild Foundation to develop an innovative program that trains law students in best practices for representing foster youth involved in juvenile education and litigation.

We advocate on behalf of young people in a number of areas that affect their lives. Learn more about our work, our team and how we – and you – can make a difference. Judge approves regulation to set standards for youth care in emergency centers NCYL is working to transform the juvenile justice system to better embody true justice and equality for children. We promote community-based and health-focused alternatives to harmful systemic practices and build a culture where the system treats children like children. Our work focuses on evidence-based, proven solutions to reduce relapse and treat children with empathy and care. We also produce and distribute resources to promote awareness of youth rights in the justice system on issues such as stop and search, police station interrogations and court appearances. Racism permeates the justice system, leading to the arrest, prosecution, conviction and incarceration of disproportionately more young people of color than white youth, even though juvenile delinquency patterns are relatively similar. In addition, youth fines and fees create an unfair “income justice” system in which children living in poverty are at increased risk of incarceration, while wealthier youth receive effective community treatment.

Justice should not be based on a child`s race, place of residence or family income. The NCYL Youth Centre provides direct services to students affected by the juvenile justice system to improve their school`s practices to better serve them. We also work directly with youth to prosecute and engage youth through partnerships with community-based organizations for policy advocacy and local capacity building. We reviewed each state`s policies on confidentiality and deletion of minors` records. Our findings show how the nation is failing to protect young people from the harmful effects of youth acts. Our advocacy work also ensures that laws, policies and practices are influenced by research, align with children`s developmental needs and reflect human rights values. This unique program, the Everychild Integrated Education & Legal Advocacy Project (EIELAP), will train 36 law students through the Youth Justice Education Clinic over a three-year period to support 300 youth in Los Angeles. Loyola`s law students work as part of a collaborative team that includes education lawyers, criminal defense attorneys, and social workers. “Foster youth already have guns against them when it comes to the criminal justice system,” said Loyola professor, chaplain and executive director of CJLP and former federal public defender for the Central District of California. “With the significant support of the Everychild Foundation, we have the power to address an essential unmet need: the holistic representation of foster children accused of crime.

Together, we have the opportunity to get justice for children who traditionally cannot afford it. A youth program run by Los Angeles County probation called the Citation Diversion Program (CDP) is the subject of the latest report by Leah Gasser-Ordaz, youth justice policy manager for the UCLA School of Law`s criminal justice program. The report highlights the unfair process youth face when trying to navigate the program, the lack of transparency in probation services, and racial differences in referrals. The report also analyzes the consequences for minors whose cases are referred to the CDP and concludes that the program can lead to harmful outcomes such as hefty fines, expensive community service hours, and driver`s license suspensions. YJEC is a one-year, eight-part course consisting of a four-unit course and a four-unit clinic. During each fall and spring semester, students receive two units for their course participation and two clinical units. In the fall, the course focuses on building a knowledge base in special education law and developing legal skills. In the spring, the course will examine topical topics in education law and policy, with a particular focus on issues affecting young people working in juvenile justice.

In addition to legal challenges, we engage in advocacy and campaigns, with our recent work focused on preventing children from being trapped in the justice system by challenging child detention and government plans for new knife crime prevention orders, while continuing the use of violence against children by police through our Child Rights Status Report. We have also been working for many years to improve the quality of legal representation for children in court. Our work has led the Law Society Standards Council to require lawyers to register and declare that they have the expertise, skills and competencies to work with children and youth. However, further reforms are needed, and this was of great importance when the Ministry of Justice, with our support, set up a sectoral working group last year to improve the quality of legal representation in juvenile courts. We remain committed to raising the professional standards of professionals working with youth in the criminal justice system through the work of our Youth Justice Law Centre. This toolkit is designed to provide useful information for jurisdictions interested in developing youth diversion programs. It summarizes best practices and recommendations on legal issues that may arise when creating and implementing diversion programs, as well as specific legal considerations for restorative justice diversion programs. The toolkit also addresses youth diversion issues such as consent, confidentiality, network expansion and relationship building between distraction partners. The author argues that jurisdictions wishing to implement youth diversion must consider the potential legal impact of diversion on youth and their families prior to implementation in order to develop programs that best support youth development and success.

Together with a coalition of like-minded organisations, we are calling for the closure of children`s prisons in the UK and a child rights-centred approach to juvenile justice. Read instantly in your browser with Kindle Cloud Reader. Use your phone`s camera – scan the code below and download the Kindle app. For more information, please contact Leah Gasser-Ordaz, YCP Youth Justice Policy Officer. Read an open letter to the Governor of California calling for an end to his continued support for probation approaches rather than community and health care solutions in pursuit of his stated and much-celebrated goal of “… Juvenile justice as we know it. Your support means we can remain vigilant and respond when and where we are needed. Funders of this work included the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Liberty Hill Foundation, and the Institute on Inequality and Democracy. We created this website to help you understand how your record may affect your future and what you can do to delete it. The Juvenile Justice Centre stands with young people to hold systems to account.