Policy Updates

Stay current on policy developments affecting vulnerable youth.

DeVos Has Scuttled More Than 1,200 Civil Rights Probes

By Annie Waldman for ProPublica ProPublica’s analysis shows that the Trump administration is less likely than its predecessor to find wrongdoing by school districts on issues ranging from racial and sexual harassment to meeting educational needs of disabled students. Click here to read the story.

Missouri Raises The Age

The Missouri legislature has voted to raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction from 17 to 18. That leaves only 4 states – Georgia, Michigan, Texas, and Wisconsin — that still try all 17-year-olds as adults. The bill now goes to the Governor for signature. Click here to read more from the Missouri Raise The AgeRead More

Connecticut Closes Its Last Youth Prison

With the recent closing of the Connecticut Juvenile Training School, Connecticut has become the first state in the country to completely eliminate the youth prison model. Congratulations to the Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance for their years of advocacy work, and a special shout out to the Tow Foundation, whose dedicated partnership contributed to this historicRead More

Family First Prevention Services Act Signed Into Law

The Family First Prevention Services Act was passed and signed into law on February 9, 2018 as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. The bill includes provisions permitting states to use federal funding streams previously only available for foster care to promote prevention services for children at risk of entering foster care.  ItRead More

Attorney General Jeff Sessions Rescinds Key Guidance on Fines and Fees

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has rescinded the Department of Justice’s critical guidance on the use of costs, fines and fees for youth in the juvenile justice system. The guidance, which clarified existing law, was written by the Justice Department’s Office for Access to Justice, Office of Justice Programs, and Office for Civil Rights under theRead More

State Trends in Keeping Youth Out of Adult Courts

The Campaign for Youth Justice has released a new report, Raising the Bar: State Trends in Keeping Youth Out of Adult Courts. This is CFYJ’s fourth state trends report, covering legislative victories from January 2015 through August 2017. Click here to access the report.

Trump Justice, Year One: The Demolition Derby

By Justin George for The Marshall Project A rundown of the nine ways Trump has upended the criminal justice landscape during his first year in office, from rejuvenating the War on Drugs to remaking the U.S. court system. A short postscript highlights numerous efforts to continue reforms at the state level. Click here to readRead More

Trump Will Appoint Caren Harp to Lead Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

by John Kelly for The Chronicle of Social Change President Trump announced his intention to appoint former Arkansas prosecutor Caren Harp to serve as administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the division of the Justice Department that oversees federal funding and standards related to juvenile justice. Harp has been an associateRead More

CHILD WELL-BEING: Key Considerations for Policymakers, Including the Need for a Federal Cross-Agency Priority Goal

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a new report, CHILD WELL-BEING: Key Considerations for Policymakers, Including the Need for a Federal Cross-Agency Priority Goal, that examines what is known about the state of child well-being in the U.S., how it has changed in recent years, and what policymakers should consider in addressing child well-being. TheRead More

Senate Finance Committee Releases Report and Legislation to Improve Accountability in Child Welfare

On October 17, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) released a report documenting the findings of a two-year report by the Senate Finance Committee on foster care privatization. As a result of the investigation’s findings, they also introduced legislation, the Child Welfare Oversight and Accountability Act of 2017Read More

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