March 11, 2014
For youth who have been involved in the juvenile justice system, the consequences of committing a crime don’t end after they’ve “done the time.” Having a juvenile record can restrict a young person’s ability to enroll in college, find housing, enlist in the military, or get a driver’s license. That’s why it’s absolutely critical for youth to apply to seal or expunge (the term varies, depending on which state you’re in) their juvenile records as soon as possible, to help protect their futures.
March 06, 2014
In the wake of the Luzerne County, PA “kids-for-cash” scandal, convicted ex-juvenile court judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan bear most of the public blame for violating the rights of thousands of children. The judges sent many of those youth to private juvenile detention centers, and forever altered their lives. But we should not overlook the fact that many of those children ended up in Ciavarella’s courtroom because they were sent there by schools – the very institutions charged with caring for and teaching our children. And what have they learned?
February 27, 2014
When 13-year-old Matt watched his parents’ difficult divorce devolve into a nasty custody battle, he struggled to keep his emotions in check. One evening, after Matt accidentally knocked over his mother’s boyfriend’s beer, the boyfriend accused Matt of throwing a piece of steak at him. At the time, Matt was 13 years old, stood 4 feet 3 inches tall, and weighed 82 pounds—while the boyfriend was 6 foot 3 inches tall and weighed approximately 210 pounds. Still, Matt’s mother called the local police, and Matt ended up before Luzerne County, PA juvenile court judge Mark Ciavarella.