Posts Tagged juvenile justice

Tennessee Juvenile Detention Center Fails to Protect Children’s Rights

From The Commercial Appeal in Memphis:

Federal officials announced today that an investigation of Shelby County’s juvenile justice system found violations of children’s constitutional rights and discrimination against African-American children.

Prepared remarks by Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and U.S. Atty. Edward L. Stanton III said an investigation opened in August 2009 found that the Shelby County system “fails to provide constitutionally required due process to all children appearing for delinquency proceedings, that the court’s administration of juvenile justice discriminates against African-American children and that its detention center violates the substantive due process rights of detained youth by not providing them with reasonably safe conditions of confinement.”

Justice Department attorneys visited the court and detention center in 2010 and 2011 for the review, and the investigation included analysis of 60,000 youth files. . . .

The complaint filed by Brooks in 2007 alleged mistreatment of juveniles based on race, discriminatory hiring practices, widespread nepotism and political patronage and disregard for federal anti-discrimination laws.

Read the rest here.

For further reading, you can read the Department of Justice’s press release and letter on the investigation here.

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SCOTUS Hears Arguments on Constitutionality of Life-without-Parole Sentences for Juveniles

By: Steve Grumm

Coverage from the National Law Journal’s Tony Mauro:

Arguments over the constitutionality of a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole for juveniles provoked strong comments but no clear consensus at the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

The Court heard arguments in Miller v. Alabama and Jackson v. Hobbs, cases in which defendants who were 14 when they committed murder were sentenced, in effect, to die in prison without any chance of release during their lifetimes. The cases presented identical issues but were argued separately, possibly because in the second case, defendant Kuntrell Jackson did not actually kill the victim, a video store clerk, but was an accomplice convicted of felony capital murder in Arkansas.

Bryan Stevenson of the Montgomery, Ala.-based Equal Justice Initiative, argued for both youthful defendants, confidently telling the justices that juveniles have proven “deficits” in judgment and maturity that make life without parole an unconstitutional sentence. He invoked the Court’s precedents in Roper v. Simmons, which banned the death penalty for juveniles, and Graham v. Florida, which barred life without parole for juveniles convicted of nonhomicide offenses.

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Job o’ the Day: Juvenile Justice/Education Rights Staff Attorney at the Public Counsel Law Center in LA!

Public Counsel Law Center is the largest pro bono public interest law firm in the nation. Founded in 1970, Public Counsel is dedicated to advancing equal justice under law by delivering free legal and social services to the most vulnerable members of our community, including abused and abandoned children, homeless families, senior citizens, and victims of consumer fraud. Our professional staff, along with thousands of volunteer lawyers, law students and legal professionals, assists over 30,000 low-income children, youth, adults, and families, as well as eligible community organizations each year.

Public Counsel is currently seeking a staff attorney for its Juvenile Justice Education Advocacy Legal Clinics at the Kenyon Juvenile Justice Center and at the STAR court (a specialized collaborative court for youth involved in prostitution) at the Compton Juvenile Court. The attorney will be responsible for all aspects of these clinics’ operation, including managing referrals, conducting intakes, providing education and special education advocacy, and tracking outcomes.

Interested? See the full listing at PSLawNet!

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Job o’ the Day: Juvenile Justice Policy/Advocacy Internship at Campaign for Youth Justice in DC!

The Campaign for Youth Justice (CFYJ) is accepting applications for its spring semester internship program.

CFYJ seeks interns interested in being introduced to the “nuts and bolts” of juvenile and criminal justice reform and issue campaign organization and management. This may include everything from poring through government reports, statistics, records, and data to working on the communications strategy associated with a state-based campaign/ initiative or analyzing legislation with clear policy implications.

Learn how to apply at PSLawNet!


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Job o’ the Day: Books Not Bars, Criminal Justice Internship at Ella Baker Center for Human Rights in Oakland, CA!

The Ella Baker Center is looking for an intern for January 2012 through March 2012 for a short-term project on creating and updating a guide for families of incarcerated youth to assist them in navigating the juvenile justice system from arrest to final disposition.

The guide will also include the policies, procedures, and rights of youth who are incarcerated in California’s Division of Juvenile Justice. The position is for 8-10 weeks, 20 hours a week.

Got a passion for juvenile justice issues? Learn how to apply at PSLawNet!

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