A Checklist to Assess the Presence of a Constitutional Violation under 34 U.S.C. 12601

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This checklist can be used to assess the presence of constitutional violations throughout the course of a client’s case. Please refer to the National Youth Defense Systems Standards and their accompanying User Guide for litigation strategies to challenge potential constitutional violations noted in this checklist.

National Youth Defense System Standards User Guide

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This User Guide provides advocates with a step-by-step outline of how to actualize the vision of the National Youth Defense System Standards to equip and invest in youth defense teams to fight for the liberation of all youth. The User Guide outlines constitutional rights detailed in the System Standards, provides a checklist to assess the…

APA RESOLUTION Opposing Involuntary Individual Isolation of Youth in Juvenile Justice Settings

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In February 2024, the American Psychological Association released a resolution detailing evidence-based recommendations to limit and eventually eliminate the use of solitary confinement on youth. Key recommendations include prohibiting solitary confinement except under exigent circumstances, the duration of which generally should not exceed four hours, and prioritizing evidence-based strategies that promote positive youth development in…

State Settlement Agreement, U.S. v. Lauderdale

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City Settlement Agreement, U.S. v. Lauderdale

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Complaint, U.S. v. Lauderdale

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Memorandum of Agreement Regarding the Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County

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Justice By Geography: Differential Treatment of Youth by Locality at Juvenile Legal System Decision Points

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No Place for Kids: The Case for Reducing Juvenile Incarceration

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Motion to Reduce Level of Detention

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Centering Youth Voice in Juvenile Justice Reform: A Brief Summary Report of Youth Experiences

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Overmedication and Misdiagnoses Guide

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Changing Course in Youth Detention: Reversing Widening Gaps by Race and Place

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The Annie E. Casey Found. (2023). The Annie E. Casey Foundation undertook a three-year analysis from January 2020 to January 2023 of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on juvenile detention rates. The analysis concluded with three main findings: 1) Black youth were ten times more likely to be detained than white youth in 2023;…

Juvenile Court Statistics 2021

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In January 2024, the National Center for Juvenile Justice released their annual report detailing data trends in juvenile courts across the country from 2005 to 2021. This report provides a national snapshot of various trends in delinquency cases, including key demographic patterns across age, gender, and race at various stages of case processing. Notably, in…

Testimony of Josh Rovner Director of Youth Justice The Sentencing Project In Opposition to SB744 Before the Maryland Senate Committee on the Judiciary

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National Youth Defense System Standards

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Outlines steps that states must take to comply with the minimum requirements of the U.S. Constitution to protect the rights of youth facing deprivations of liberty.

Only Young Once: Alabama’s Overreliance on School Pushout and For-Profit Youth Incarceration 

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Writ of Habeas Corpus (New York)

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Writ of Habeas Corpus (Louisiana)

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The Harms of Juvenile Detention Infographic

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Youth in detention are removed from settings that matter: their homes, schools, and communities. Without those supports, children develop higher rates of depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions, and they lose access to educational opportunities. Once released, youth who spent time behind bars are more likely to disengage from school and become system-involved in…

Washington State Jails Coronavirus Management Suggestions in 3 “Buckets” (Washington Association of Sheriffs & Police Chiefs)

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First Amended Complaint for Damages and Demand for Jury Trial (California)

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Achieving Excellence in Detention Advocacy: Guidelines for Juvenile Defenders to Provide Zealous Advocacy at Initial Detention Hearings

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These guidelines are designed to assist defenders in assessing their advocacy at the traditional, threepart initial hearings held in most jurisdictions: arraignment, the probable cause determination, and the detention hearing. In some jurisdictions, these are all collapsed into a single hearing. Because many jurisdictions still allow children to waive their right to counsel and/or plead…

Juvenile Defense Manager-Supervisor Tool for Best Practices in Detention Advocacy

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This tool is designed to provide guidance for managers and supervisors in juvenile defender organizations to identify, develop, and promote strategies and interventions that will heighten the level of advocacy aimed at minimizing the detention of juveniles.

Confined Without Cause: The Constitutional Right to Prompt Probable Cause Determinations for Youth

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