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Tamir Rice Safety Handbook

End local policies that disproportionately send black children to adult prison: Danielle Sydnor

"The question of how to address the mistakes of youth is not a new one. When a child causes harm, they should be held accountable and we should work to rehabilitate them. That is what the juvenile courts were created to do. But children should not be held accountable in a way that causes them harm and makes it more likely that they will continue to cause harm to others."

Juvenile Justice Groups Say Felony Murder Charges Harm Children, Young Adults

"Felony murder is not your average murder. Juvenile justice advocates call felony murder laws arcane and say they unfairly harm children and young adults. Prosecutors can charge them with felony murder even if they didn't kill anyone or intend to do so. What's required is the intent to commit a felony — like burglary, arson or rape — and that someone dies during the process.

Everyone involved in that underlying felony can be held responsible for the death. In some cases, a person who wasn't even present when the death occurred may face a felony murder charge too. It's a controversial provision that has been around for hundreds of years. It got its start in England, which abolished the rule in the 1950s. Other countries followed suit."

HARMLESS ERROR: EXPLAINED

"Under a legal doctrine called “harmless error,” appellate judges routinely affirm convictions tainted by legal error whenever they feel confident that the person appealing the conviction is guilty. The doctrine receives far less attention than stories about the misbehavior of police and prosecutors, but as one of the most frequently invoked doctrines in all of criminal appeals, it has a profound influence on the behavior of everyone inside our criminal system, including police, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges."

PRIMER FOR JUVENILE COURT JUDGES: A TRAUMA-INFORMED APPROACH TO JUDICIAL DECISION-MAKING FOR NEWCOMER IMMIGRANT YOUTH IN JUVENILE JUSTICE PROCEEDINGS

"Introduces key factors that juvenile court judges should consider in order to take a trauma-informed approach when newcomer immigrant youth come before them in juvenile justice cases. This primer discusses the definition of newcomer immigrant youth, case studies to provide clarity, the role of trauma in newcomer immigrant youth’s lives, pathways from trauma exposure to the juvenile justice system, traumatic stress within the juvenile justice system, legal implications of involvement in the justice system on immigration status, cultural considerations, how to strengthen protective factors, and what judges can do. The primer also includes a number of helpful appendices on the unique experiences of unaccompanied minors, Supreme Court jurisprudence, adolescent brain development, as well as glossaries."

Racial Justice for Youth

"Racial Justice for Youth: A Toolkit for Defenders empowers juvenile defenders with the training, resources, and information to fight the over-policing, over-criminalization, and school exclusion of youth of color."

Teen who shot and killed father says she pictured taking her own life after years of abuse

"Bresha said she did tell others of the abuse and ran away from home more than once. 'I did speak out quite often. It's just nobody listened, nobody cared,' Bresha said."

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley charges more teens as adults than any other prosecutor in Ohio

"In the two-and-a-half years since, O’Malley’s office has prosecuted 236 juveniles as adults, the statistics say. More than 90 percent of those juveniles are black, the ACLU said."

Special Caution Required: The Realities of Youth Interrogation

"Developmental research suggests that youth may be more susceptible than adults to interrogation pressures."

JUVENILE Facilities CHECKLIST FOR DEFENDERS

"The following checklist is based on federal statutes and regulations, federal caselaw, and relevant professional standards. The conditions and practices identified in this checklist are also discussed in a recent publication issued by the PREA Resource Center entitled 'Model Policy: Transgender, Gender Nonconforming, and Intersex Youth in Confinement Facilities.' The checklist is followed by a glossary of relevant terms."

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