California Considers Decriminalizing Truancy

The California State Senate will vote Friday on a measure that seeks to decriminalize truancy and limit the power of probation departments to work with youth who have not been charged with any crime through “voluntary probation” programs.


California Youth Have Been Pepper Sprayed More Than 5,000 Times in Three Years

Young people in California’s juvenile justice system were exposed to chemical agents like pepper spray more than 5,000 times over the course of three years, according to a new report from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California.


Kin Prop up Illinois’ Foster Care System, With Limited Support

When a series of family crises left her 3-year-old niece in need of a permanent home, April Funches opened her doors. Although the move was in the works for months, the little girl arrived lacking enough clothes and other necessities, which meant Funches’ budget took an immediate hit.

Texas Not Moving Fast Enough to Move Foster Children out of Hotels and Offices, Attorneys Say


Legendary Child Rights Litigator Staffs Up to Storm the Big City

Marcia Lowry, the crusading child welfare attorney, works out of an office on Hardscrabble Road. She didn’t name this leafy suburban New York lane, but it suits her reputation: The slew of big-ticket settlements she’s secured against large foster care systems made her one of the nation’s most respected, winning and – in some quarters – loathed attorneys for vulnerable youth.

Youth Services Insider


Faith-Based Laws and Foster Care: Destined for Supreme Court?

Two more states have joined the ranks of those that have acted legislatively to guarantee the right of faith-based child welfare contractors to discriminate against parents – and in some cases children – whose lifestyles do not comport with the religious views of the organization.

Youth Services Insider


Wisconsin Juvenile Justice’s Use of Solitary, Pepper Spray Violates Constitution, Lawsuit Says

A class-action lawsuit announced today accuses the Wisconsin Department of Corrections of housing nearly one-fifth of its juvenile wards in solitary confinement, often for unnamed or minor offenses, and wantonly using chemical restraints on incarcerated youths.


    Bureau of Indian Education Failed to Educate Tribal Youth, Lawsuit Alleges

    A lawsuit filed in U.S. District court today alleges that the U.S. government has failed to provide basic education services to Native American students attending Havasupai Elementary School, which is operated by the federal Bureau of Indian Education.


    Supes Choose a Team of Two to Lead L.A. County Probation: Terri McDonald and Sheila Mitchell

    The Supes Choose A Probation Chief — Or Make That Two Chiefs The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors have just announced their selection of not just one brand new Chief of Probation, but two.


    Many California Schools Lack Policies for Police Interactions, Report Finds

    California’s schools are quick to call in police for relatively minor offenses, behavioral issues or classroom disruptions, according to a report released by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of California.