West Virginia Eases Strict Truancy Law

After an aggressive campaign against the truancy law by the American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia, state lawmakers have voted to ease the law, perhaps the strictest in the nation.

A Portrait of the Artist As a Juvenile Lifer

WAYNESBURG, Pa. — The boy loved to walk in the woods.

Five years ago, Kenneth Carl Crawford III returned to that woods behind his childhood home in Oklahoma, but only in his mind — the only way he can go back now, perhaps the only way he’ll ever go there again in his time on this Earth.

Mishi Faruqee and Shaena Fazal

UN Report Faults Practices Common in U.S. Juvenile Justice

WASHINGTON — The United Nations top investigator on torture has delivered a scathing criticism of juvenile justice practices common in the United States, including routine detention of youths, solitary confinement and sentences of life without parole for children.

High Court Asked to Weigh Miller Retroactivity

WASHINGTON — Six petitions have been filed with the U.S. Supreme Court asking it to consider whether its landmark 2012 Miller v. Alabama ruling declaring mandatory sentences of juvenile life without parole unconstitutional should apply to cases decided before the ruling.

New Guidelines Aim to Strengthen Defense in Juvenile Life Cases

The Washington-based nonprofit Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth (CFSY) released the 24-page “Trial Defense Guidelines: Representing a Child Client Facing a Possible Life Sentence” in response to findings of the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark 2012 Miller v. Alabama decision.

Charles Grassley

Grassley OJJDP Probe Widens, Implicating 6 States, 2 Territories

WASHINGTON — Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, has widened his inquiry into whistleblowers’ claims of fraud and mismanagement in the awarding of grants from the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).

In a seven-page letter Friday to Assistant Attorney General Karol Mason, Grassley outlined allegations by whistleblowers that oversight failures may have led to unlawful OJJDP grants to Alabama, Idaho, Illinois, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington, D.C.