Juvenile Law Center

I want to discuss the silence in Luzerne County, how everyone was quiet, no one said anything ... even [youth] were silenced by what was taking place. It was only through Juvenile Law Center that we were given voices.

Hillary Transue, victim of the Luzerne County "kids-for-cash" scandal

Juvenile In Justice: End Solitary

The United States routinely holds children in total isolation for weeks or months at a time. The practice hides behind many mild-sounding names – seclusion, segregation, time out, protective custody, room restriction – that mask its widespread use and harmful effects on children. Solitary confinement causes permanent, irreversible psychological damage to children who are often already suffering from mental health issues, including PTSD from childhood trauma. Juvenile Law Center joins President Obama and a score of human rights organizations throughout the nation in calling for an immediate ban on this practice in all 50 states.

Juvenile Law Center is collaborating with InLiquid and photographer Richard Ross on Juvenile in Justice: End Solitary Confinement, a multi-site exhibition of Ross’ photographs, audio recordings of detained youth, and a replica of a solitary confinement cell. The main exhibit at the Free Library of Philadelphia opens July 21 and will run through September 4, 2016. Look for satellite installations on display around Philadelphia, including at Eastern State Penitentiary.

Location: Free Library of Philadelphia's Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine Street.

Moderator and Panelists

Solomon Jones (moderator) is a bestselling author and award-winning journalist who has appeared nationally on CNN, Nightline, NPR’s Morning Edition, and Nancy Grace. His story was featured in a Verizon advertising campaign called Realize, which spotlighted entrepreneurs who overcame adversity to succeed. Jones, the host of “Wake Up With WURD” on 900 AM WURD radio, is also a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News and a commentator for local NPR-affiliate WHYY. A married father of three, Jones is a national voice on race and politics. In 2014, the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists named him Online Journalist of the Year. He was also a recipient of the American Cities Foundation’s “Men Making A Difference” award, the Father’s Day Rally Committee’s “Father of the Year” award, the Knight Foundation’s “Black Male Leadership Award,” and Community College of Philadelphia’s “Distinguished Leadership Award.”



Richard Ross is a photographer, researcher and professor of art based in Santa Barbara, California. Ross has been the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Annie E. Casey and MacArthur Foundations. Ross was awarded both Fulbright and Guggenheim Fellowships. His most recent work, the -- In Justice series, turns a lens on the placement and treatment of American juveniles housed by law in facilities that treat, confine, punish, assist and, occasionally, harm them. Two books and traveling exhibitions of the work continue to see great success while Ross collaborates with juvenile justice stakeholders, using the images as a catalyst for change. Ross's work has been exhibited at the Tate Modern, London; National Building Museum, Washington D.C; Aperture Gallery, New York; ACME. Gallery, Los Angeles; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco.


Johnny Perez is a non-attorney advocate at the Urban Justice Center Mental Health Project (MHP), a civil legal services firm that provides legal and social work services to people with serious mental illness. Specifically, he is assigned to MHP’s Safe Re-entry Project, where he works with people with mental illness and histories of incarceration, to connect them to the services in the community that will assist them to attain better measures of recovery and gain the stability necessary to avoid further contact with the criminal justice system. Drawing on the wisdom of thirteen years of direct involvement with the criminal justice system, Johnny has testified at the NY Advisory Committee to The US Civil Rights Commission about the inhumane treatment of teenagers in solitary confinement in state prisons and city jails.


The Story Podcast: Johnny Perez looks back on his time in solitary confinement


Marsha Levick co-founded Juvenile Law Center in 1975. Throughout her legal career, Levick has been an advocate for children’s and women's rights and is a nationally recognized expert in juvenile law. Levick oversees Juvenile Law Center’s litigation and appellate docket. She has successfully litigated challenges to unlawful and harmful laws, policies and practices on behalf of children in both the juvenile justice and child welfare systems.  Levick also spearheaded Juvenile Law Center’s litigation arising out of the Luzerne County, Pennsylvania juvenile court judges’ corruption scandal, where Juvenile Law Center successfully sought the expungement and vacatur of thousands of juveniles’ cases before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and is pursuing civil damages for the children and their families in a federal civil rights class action.


Naomi E. Goldstein, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology at Drexel University, Co-Director of Drexel’s JD/PhD Program in Law and Psychology, and a Stoneleigh Foundation Fellow. An applied researcher and Director of the Juvenile Justice Research and Reform Lab at Drexel, Goldstein seeks to improve juvenile justice policy and practice to promote positive outcomes for youth. For the past 15 years, her work has focused on adolescents’ capacities to make legal decisions, their abilities to fulfill behavioral requirements of the law, and the development of juvenile justice interventions and procedures to promote youths’ long-term well-being. In addition to authoring more than 50 articles and book chapters, Goldstein co-authored Evaluating Capacity to Waive Miranda Rights, published in the Best Practices in Forensic Mental Health Assessment book series.



From Juvenile Justice Information Exchange:
Locked in the Box: Student Assignment – 24 Hours in Solitary

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