The Juvenile Law Center awards its Leadership Prize to those who do exceptional work in creating change for youth in the child welfare and justice systems, whether through a large contribution, a lifetime of advocating for change, or any other outstanding efforts.
In 2015, the most recent year for which we have comprehensive data, there were approximately 48,000 youth in residential placement facilities across the country. That’s down 55 percent from 1999, when our juvenile justice systems housed more than 100,000 young people.
James Bell, founder and president of the W. Haywood Burns Institute, told a gathering of juvenile justice reformers that it was time to begin “an uncomfortable” conversation about racial disparities in the youth justice system.
At 7 a.m., teenagers are scurrying to dress and head to class. There are no parents or older siblings nearby to push them out of bed and out the door. And the commute isn’t long — just a short walk from prison bed to classroom.
Youth placed in juvenile justice institutions face a fundamental obstacle in their career pathway: They have been removed from their communities and lack access to the full array of educational and job…
As any high schooler can tell you, finding paid work experience in today’s economy can be a real challenge. But youth with disabilities in the juvenile justice and foster care systems face a particularly difficult…
In today’s world, having access to your vital records (birth certificate, Social Security card, state ID card) is, in fact, vital. The consequences system-involved youth experience by not having these essential records include potential housing instability, the inability to pursue certain educational opportunities and financial aid, and lack of access to public benefits. Not having identification can also be a barrier to employment. This is the situation Bruce Morgan, Juvenile Law Center’s youth advocate alum, faced.