Brief Argues Against Harmful Criminalization of Children

March 10, 2017

Youth Law Center, with more than a dozen others across the nation, filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in A.M. v. Holmes, challenging the arrest of a 13-year-old New Mexico boy for “fake burping” and laughing in class. As the brief explains, criminalizing normal childhood behavior isn’t just excessive, unnecessary, and legally wrong. It is destructive. Channeling vulnerable children into the juvenile justice system disrupts their schooling, impedes healthy development, and heightens the risk of poor long-term education, employment, and health outcomes. And these harms are disproportionately visited upon children of color, LGBTQ youth, and young people with disabilities. Read the brief here.