Home News Center April 2019 Roundup

April 2019 Roundup

April 29, 2019
Courtney McSwain



 

Funding Opportunities

  • Andrus Family Fund will be accepting Letters of Inquiry (LOIs) beginning April 17, 2019, for its upcoming fall grant cycle. Andrus Family Fund fosters just and sustainable change in the United States by supporting organizations that advance social justice and improve outcomes for vulnerable youth ages 16-24. The organization invites LOIs from innovative and bold organizations that provide and deliver high-quality direct services, which are developmentally and culturally appropriate for older youth to be successful and thrive. Read More.

Advances

  • Legal Aid Justice Center successfully championed advances to create safer and more equitable schools during the 2019 General Assembly. Legislation was passed to require schools to report a broad spectrum of data points on the use of alternative education in discipline matters. Additionally, several bills were advanced, including those requiring mandatory training for School Resource Officers to meet the minimum standards established by the Department of Criminal Justice Services and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between local school divisions and local law enforcement whenever SROs are placed in schools. See the full 2019 Just Children Legislative Wrap Up.
  • Human Rights for Kids helped pass legislation that will allow formerly incarcerated children in Arkansas to have their voting rights restored, to be discharged from parole, and will require that the state provide the same educational and rehabilitative programming to incarcerated children that is available to the adult population. Read More
  • In response to complaints brought by Greater Boston Legal Services, Boston Public Schools has made significant changes to its discipline policies, including:
    • Ending the suspension of kindergartners, first graders, and second graders (now in effect)
    • Limiting suspensions of third, fourth, and fifth graders to incidents of serious misconduct such as "serious physical harm" (to take effect September 2019)
    • Collaborating with community groups to design training for staff members to encourage and increase the use of alternative forms of discipline and to educate staff about the disproportionate effects of suspensions and expulsions on students of color and students with disabilities. Read more about the changes. (H/T Citizens for Juvenile Justice.)

Events/Actions

  • On April 11, Juvenile Law Center, Education Law Center and Dechert LLP filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of hundreds of youth who were held at Glen Mills Schools, a residential facility in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. The suit maintains that the reform school violated rights of youth in its care and that Pennsylvania officials also bear responsibility. Instead of receiving treatment and services, as required by the Pennsylvania Juvenile Act, youth were subjected to extreme, sustained physical and psychological abuse and deprived of an education. The abuse had a particularly dire impact on Black youth – disproportionately sent to Glen Mills – as well as students with special education needs and disabilities, whose educational rights were ignored. Read More.
  • On April 10th, drawing from a wealth of experience from their work running juvenile justice systems, Youth Correctional Leaders for Justice (YCLJ) launched its initiative to end America's youth prisons. Working alongside advocates, policymakers, practitioners and currently and formerly incarcerated youth and their families, YCLJ will use a combination of technical assistance, advocacy, peer networks, and research to propel a vision of youth-, family-, and community-driven justice for young people. Read More.

Publications/Resources/News

  • The Urban Institute released a new report Promoting A New Direction for Youth Justice, which elevates state and local funding strategies to move the youth justice away from incarceration and into the investment of a robust continuum of care and opportunity for youth. The report features case studies from communities across the country that successfully redirected youth justice dollars from prisons to programming and community development instead.
  • CALmatters and Studiotobe have launched the new podcast Force of Law focused on the heated debate in California’s Capitol over legislation meant to reduce police shootings. CALmatters reporter Laurel Rosenhall will follow as politicians in Sacramento decide whether California should enact the nation’s toughest statewide standard for justifying deadly force. Each episode of Force of Law will also bring stories of families who have lost loved ones to police, law enforcement officers who face split-second decisions while performing a dangerous job, and policy-makers grappling with an issue that is both emotional and politically charged. Listen to Force of Law.
  • Annie E. Casey Foundation released a new KIDS COUNT® Data Snapshot, Keeping Kids in Families: Trends in U.S. Foster Care Placement, a data brief examining the progress foster care systems have made in finding families for children over the last ten years of available data. Read More.
  • Vanishing Violence is a critically important investigative series form The San Francisco Chronicle that looks at the decline of youth arrests and homicides showing that youth homicides are down 83 percent and youth arrests down 84 percent since the 1990s. What's most revealing is that very few people have been talking about this record decline. Vanishing Violence exposes the empty youth detention centers that have been built or expanded over the past 20 years and the skyrocketing costs of keeping youth incarcerated – up to $530,000 per child per year in one county. Quickly after its release, three San Francisco Supervisors pledged to close a youth detention center prompted by the report. Read More from Vanishing Violence. 
  • Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has released Delinquency Cases in Juvenile Court, 2016. This fact sheet presents statistics on delinquency cases handled in U.S. juvenile courts from 2005 to 2016. During the 12-year period, the number of delinquency cases involving juveniles declined 49 percent. Decreases were experienced across four offense categories: property, public order, person, and drug law violations.
  • Connecticut Voices for Children published the new report Policing Connecticut’s Hallways: The Prevalence and Impact of School Resource Officers in Connecticut. Using state education data and discipline data from the Civil Rights Data Collection, the report explores how the presence of school resource officers (SROs) impacts student discipline outcomes, standardized test scores and incident reports in schools. The report found that the percent of students—particularly Latino students—arrested and referred to law enforcement was higher in schools with SRO’s, but did not find an impact on incident reports or standardized test scores.
  • Campaign for Youth Justice released its latest report If Not The Adult System Then Where? Part of a series, the new report aims to shed light on the numerous effective alternatives that exist for young people who have been charged as adults outside of the adult criminal justice system.
  • On March 29, progressive advocates across the country were rocked by news of an arson attack on Highlander Research and Education Center in New Market, Tennessee. Highlander serves as a catalyst for grassroots organizing and movement building in Appalachia and the South, and many social justice organizations, including NJJN, use its Tennessee location as a safe space for organizing meetings, workshops and retreats. Robin D.G. Kelley, Professor of History and Black Studies at UCLA, and Makani Themba, chief strategist at Higher Ground Change Strategies, wrote about Highlander’s significance and why the attack matters for The Nation. Read Article.
  • Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE) published the recent article, “Restorative Practices Require Power Be Redistributed to Black and Brown Children," by Barbara Sherrod. In it, the author argues that restorative justice practices, which have their cultural roots in First Nations and indigenous African cultures, must repair systemic harm from racial oppression in order to be successful. Read Article.
  • Independent journalist Masuma Ahuja is seeking stories from teenage girls around the world for a new book and would like to feature a girl who is currently incarcerated in the United States through published diary entries describing her life in her own words. This book would be very similar to a series she wrote for the Washington Post. Identities could be kept confidential. She is also happy to work with attorneys who may have concerns about the information disclosed. Masuma is also likely only able to publish stories from one girl in the United States.  If you know anyone interested, please contact Rebecca Burney, Esq., Equal Justice Works Fellow.

Jobs/Opportunities

  • Kansas Appleseed is seeking an Executive Director to oversee the administration, programs, fundraising, community outreach, and strategic plan of the organization. Kansas Appleseed is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization dedicated to vulnerable and excluded Kansans. See Full Job Description.
  • Apply to bring the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR) to you! CJJR has just released an RFA for the 2019 School-Justice Partnerships and Diversion Pathways Certificate Program. This new field-based version of the training will be held from September 23-27, 2019 and allows a total of seven multi-disciplinary teams, of up to eight people each, from one state to jointly apply to conduct the training locally. The selected state cluster will receive the five-day Certificate Program training and a Capstone Year technical assistance (TA) package, during which the teams will be provided two on-site cluster visits from CJJR staff and subject matter experts, as well as ongoing distance TA and consultation through phone, email, and webinars. See RFA for full details. Applications due May 24.
  • TeamChild is hiring for a Staff Attorney and Case Support Specialist in its Tacoma office.
Staff Attorney: Primary job duties include providing holistic civil legal representation to youth who are at risk of or already involved in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. Advocacy involves breaking down legal barriers to a wide array of community-based services and supports, including but not limited to, education, safe and stable living situations, mental health care and medical services, and other civil rights issues. See Full Job Description

- Case Support Specialist: Primary duties, under the supervision of the Managing Attorney, will be to provide direct non-legal support, advocacy, and case management for our clients, in collaboration with the attorneys who will focus on legal advocacy. See Full Job Description.


  • Youth Alive is seeking a Policy and Advocacy Manager responsible for managing the agency’s external affairs to promote Youth ALIVE!’s policy goals and best practices. This position will also organize our community to develop and pursue those goals.  Youth ALIVE! is a direct service and advocacy organization that seeks to prevent violence and uplift communities impacted by violence and incarceration. See Full Job Description
  • The Council of State Governments Justice Center is hiring a Senior Policy Analyst to help support the Improving Outcomes for Youth Initiative, which is focused on helping states and counties to adopt comprehensive plans to align policy, practice, and funding with what research shows works to improve outcomes for youth in the youth justice system. See Full Job Description.
  • The Communities for Just Schools Fund is seeking a Strategic Community (Community of Practice) Consultant and a Program Management Specialist (Contractor) for project-based support.
The Strategic Community Consultant will serve as project manager/lead architect of a school safety and social-emotional learning (SEL) community of practice. The consultant will have demonstrated experience in successfully supporting communities of practice, strong facilitation skills and expertise in working with diverse stakeholders. See Full Job Description.
- The Program Management Specialist will support grants management, programs, and institutional strengthening efforts during a period of staff leave. The successful candidate will have demonstrated experience in successfully managing or supporting grant making or a similar process and will have experience and demonstrable success working with philanthropic organizations and community organizers. See Full Job Description.


  • The Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights seeks a Defense Investigator to find and develop the material that assists in defending our clients against delinquency charges. LCCR is a nonprofit that defends and advocates for young people in Louisiana’s justice system and serves as the juvenile public defender in New Orleans. The work of investigators is carried out mostly in the field – in private homes, in schools, in businesses, and on the street – and requires creativity, perseverance, empathy, responsibility, and excellent communication skills. See Full Job Description.
Manage the State Advisory Board (SAB), overseeing Title II federal funding;
 
Develop a three-year plan of policy and funding priorities;
Monitor and report on allocations and programs funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP);
- Develop annual reports;
- Monitor and train to assure Vermont's compliance with JJDP Act mandates; and
- Recommends policy, rule, and statute changes as needed to ensure or create JJDPA Compliance. See Full Job Description


  • The National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC)is currently seeking applications for two positions: a Staff Attorney and a 2019-2020 Gault Fellow.
    • The Staff Attorney is a mid-level position, and the selected candidate will be responsible for conducting extensive legal research, analysis, and writing; will respond to requests for assistance from youth defense attorneys or stakeholders in the field, and may be called upon to provide training. The staff attorney will work in partnership with our leadership team, staff and community to advance NJDC's mission and programs. Open until filled. View Job Description.
    • The 2019-2020 Gault Fellow is a one-year fellowship opportunity that will run concurrently with the first year of the 2019-2021 Gault Fellowship. The Gault Fellows collaborate with NJDC staff to develop legal and policy initiatives around a broad range of youth defense issues. The Fellows perform extensive legal research and analysis for NJDC and assist with the provision of training and technical assistance to the youth defense community. This position is an entry-level position intended for recent law school graduates and current 3L/4LEs (Class of 2018 or 2019). Applications are due May 6, 2019. View Description.

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