Applications Now Available for Information Sharing Certificate Program at Georgetown
The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University's Public Policy Institute, in partnership with Juvenile Law Center, has announced the inaugural Information Sharing Certificate Program. Supported with funding from the MacArthur Foundation's Models for Change initiative, this program is designed to enable leaders in the juvenile justice, child welfare, education, behavioral health, and other child-serving fields to overcome information-sharing challenges that prevent the communication and coordination that is necessary to more fully serve youth known across multiple systems of care.
Upon completion of the intensive three-day learning experience, participants apply the knowledge they gain through the development and implementation of a Capstone Project--an action agenda they undertake in their organization or community to initiate or enhance information sharing efforts. To accelerate these efforts, it is strongly encouraged that those interested in attending form a team from their jurisdiction to apply to the program.Read Less >
Two Juvenile Justice Reform Bills Signed in Wake of "Kids-for-Cash" Scandal
Associate Director Lourdes Rosado (above, right) joined Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett and Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Lehman Township) in Wilkes-Barre, PA on April 9 to participate in the Governor's signing of two new bills issued in the wake of the Luzerne County juvenile court "kids-for-cash" scandal.
Senate Bill 815 requires juveniles under 14 years of age to have lawyers at all delinquency proceedings; youth 14 years and older may waive their right to counsel only in limited circumstances and only if the court is satisfied that the juvenile made a knowing, intelligent, and voluntary waiver of that right.
Senate Bill 818 requires judges to state their reasons for disposition—the juvenile equivalent of a sentence—on the record, and mandates that the court must explain why an out-of-home placement for that child is the least restrictive alternative that is consistent with the protection of the public interest and best suited to the child's treatment, supervision, rehabilitation, and welfare.
Additionally, Senate Bill 817—prohibiting the use of various restraints, such as shackles, on children appearing in court—was unanimously approved by the Pennsylvania Senate and is awaiting action by the House.
These bills were sponsored by Senator Baker and adopted from key recommendations of the Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice, and from Lessons from Luzerne County: Promoting Fairness, Transparency, and Accountability, a report that Juvenile Law Center submitted to the Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice in the spring of 2010.Read Less >
Coalition Holds Spring Gathering for Friends, Family of Juvenile Lifers
On April 14, the Pennsylvania Coalition for the Fair Sentencing of Youth—of which Juvenile Law Center is a member—hosted a gathering for friends and families of those serving life without parole sentences (JLWOP) for crimes committed when they were juveniles. About 170 people attended the gathering, where they were encouraged to join the Coalition's efforts to end JLWOP sentences in Pennyslvania.
Pennsylvania leads the world in sentences of JLWOP, with approximately 480 juvenile lifers in the state. Some cases date back to the early 2950s. In addition to hearing updates about the recent U.S. Supreme Court arguments over the constitutionality of JLWOP, participants learned about ways to become involved in outreach. Attendees heard from Jody Kent, Director and National Coordinator of the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, and listened to testimonies from Coalition members whose loved ones are serving JLWOP sentences. The next gathering is scheduled for Saturday, June 23. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/pacfsy.Read Less >
Youth Speakers Bureau Gives Youth a Voice in Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Reform
In 2011, Juvenile Law Center, with support from the Stoneleigh Foundation, founded the Youth Speakers Bureau to increase the voice of youth in juvenile justice and child welfare reform. The Youth Speakers Bureau links Youth Advocates—current members and alums of our youth engagement programs—with undergraduate speaknig advisors from the University of Pennsylvania. These speaking advisors help the youth develop public speaking and speechwriting skills so they can, with clarity and confidence, share their experiences and opinions on the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.
Youth in the Speakers Bureau have had opportunities to speak at various venues. Since the program's inception, they have:
- Presented keynote addresses at conferences
- Served as panelists for audiences of students and professionals
- Facilitated trainings for youth and professionals
- Presented at conference workshops
- Testified at legislative hearings
If you are interested in having a youth speak at an upcoming event in Pennsylvania, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.Read Less >