Juvenile Law Center

Pursuing justiceA Juvenile law center Blog

August 25, 2017

Navigating the Path to a Successful Career: The Vitality of Vital Records

posted by Essie Lazarus, Juvenile Law Center intern

Large numbers of youth leave the child welfare and juvenile justice systems without their vital documents or they are not able to maintain them due to housing instability. Not having these records makes smoothly transitioning to adulthood difficult, if not impossible. The consequences system-involved youth experience by not having these essential records include potential housing instability, the inability to pursue certain educational opportunities and financial aid, and lack of access to public benefits. Not having identification can also be a barrier to employment.

Tags:Child Welfare and Foster Care|Permanency (Foster Care)|Transitions to Adulthood (Foster Care)
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August 18, 2017

Navigating the Path to a Successful Career: New Juvenile Law Center Report Addresses Barriers for Youth in Foster Care and the Juvenile Justice System

posted by Karen U. Lindell, Staff Attorney

As summer comes to a close, many teens around the country are wrapping up one of the first steps in their “career pathway”: a summer job. These short-term positions are not just a pastime; research shows that summer employment reduces dropout rates, improves long-term employment prospects, and decreases the chance of future involvement in the criminal justice system.

In a new report funded by the Lenfest Foundation, Juvenile Law Center takes a focused look at the barriers to career pathways that system-involved youth encounter. Based on an in-depth needs assessment of the Philadelphia community, the report offers five strategies to improve access to career-focused programs and early work experiences for youth in the child welfare or juvenile justice system.

Tags: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)
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August 16, 2017

Mandatory Minimums, Maximum Consequences

posted by Emily Steiner, Legal Intern, Juvenile Law Center

The revival of strong mandatory sentencing schemes matches the “tough on crime” approach touted by the Trump administration. While mandatory minimums negatively impact all individuals involved in the criminal justice system, youth particularly face long-term consequences. The imposition of mandatory minimums exacerbates the harms that youth face in the adult criminal justice system and forces children to grow up within a system that lacks age-appropriate education and treatment to address their rehabilitative potential.

Tags:Juvenile and Criminal Justice|Juvenile Life Without Parole (JLWOP)
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August 15, 2017

White Supremacist Violence in Charlottesville

posted by Juvenile Law Center

As an organization serving all youth impacted by the child welfare and justice systems, Juvenile Law Center forcefully condemns the white supremacist violence and hatred from this past weekend in Charlottesville. Racism in our country, which has been a part of our history and legacy, was there before this weekend’s brutal display and remains after. Many young people we advocate for are targets for this kind of extremism. This has no place in our society. We advocate for all youth in the justice and child welfare systems and know youth of color, youth with disabilities and LGBT youth are overrepresented in these systems. We are committed to standing with all youth we serve and represent, and for a more just world in which such despicable hatred is unacceptable.

Tags:Child Welfare and Foster Care|Juvenile and Criminal Justice|News and Announcements
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August 11, 2017

NCJFCJ’s Resolution Commits the Judiciary to Play a Pivotal Role in Seeing and Addressing the Risk of Homelessness That So Many Court Involved Youth Face

posted by Jennifer Pokempner, Child Welfare Policy Director

On July 15th, 2017, the National Council for Juvenile and Family Court Judges adopted a RESOLUTION ADDRESSING THE NEEDS OF HOMELESS YOUTH AND FAMILIES IN JUVENILE AND FAMILY COURTS. This is a groundbreaking resolution that explicitly acknowledges the relationship between child welfare and juvenile justice system involvement and homelessness. It commits the judiciary to take a leadership role to reduce the chances that youth will enter these systems because of homelessness or leave these systems and become homeless. This is an important step that will be a catalyst for policy and practice changes that will benefit court-involved youth as they transition to adulthood.

Tags:Child Welfare and Foster Care|Permanency (Foster Care)|Transitions to Adulthood (Foster Care)
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