Spring 2024 Resource Library Updates

The Gault Center has been regularly updating our Resource Library, where you will find up-to-date youth defense resources to enhance your practice and advocacy. Moving forward, our Resource Library will replace our annual Youth Defender Resource Guide. As part of this transition, the Gault Center will periodically email notable resources that have recently been added to our Resource Library. Please contact us if there are any resources you’d like us to add.  

Below are some notable publications from the past couple of months that may be of interest to youth defense advocates:  

2021 Juvenile Court Statistics  

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 2021, youth with the following characteristics were more likely to be detained: older than 16, arrested for person offenses, male, and in a racial group other than white. This report provides youth defense advocates with several data points to demonstrate the reach and impact of delinquency cases on youth, especially across racial lines.  

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

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 lieu of subjecting youth to solitary confinement. This resolution provides youth defense advocates with an evidence-based tool to challenge state and local policies and practices that subject youth to the harms of incarceration, especially as they relate to isolation, time outs, room placements, and other forms of solitary confinement.   

No Child Left Confined: Challenging the Digital Convict Lease  

This article is a transcript of a lecture given by Professor Chaz P. Arnett at a Symposium hosted by the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law’s Journal of Health Care Law & Policy. Professor Arnett discusses juvenile courts’ increased reliance on electronic monitoring, which he classifies as “e-carceration,” or the “the digital outsourcing of aspects of prison into communities under the guise of carceral humanism.” Professor Arnett walks through ways in which electronic monitoring worsens race and class disparities in the juvenile legal system: they widen the net of carceral system involvement by extending social control over Black and Latino/a youth; they are overly invasive and restrictive; and they laden families with financial burdens. Professor Arnett cautions that electronic monitoring threatens the healthy development of youth and places digital monitoring within a historical context of racialized surveillance. This resource provides youth defense advocates with a critical race and digital studies framework to challenge the use of electronic monitoring in juvenile courts.  

What We Need to Thrive: A Youth-Led Vision for a Just Alameda County 

The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and Ceres Policy Research Center partnered with youth leaders in Alameda County, California, to assess the current landscape of the juvenile legal system and outline a youth-centered vision for the future. Utilizing a youth participatory action research protocol, this report relied on youth leaders to design and implement a study in their communities to hear directly from impacted community members about their experiences with policing and carceral systems. Key perceptions from the community include: there are not enough community programs supporting youth development, creativity, and career building; there needs to be fewer interactions between youth and police; and there needs to be better community alternatives to system involvement for all youth. This report calls on decisionmakers to increase investment in community-based, trauma-informed youth development programs and ensure equitable access to community supports, especially for Black, Latino/a, non-English speaking, and LGBTQ+ youth. The findings and recommendations of this report provide a roadmap for youth-centered reforms focused on community care and healing.  

We hope these resources strengthen your efforts to defend young people. As always, thank you for all you do to protect the rights of youth. 

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