AB 153: Phasing Out Out-of-State Residential Facility Placements for Children in Foster Care

In a critical victory for California’s most vulnerable children, California has enacted AB 153 (2021), phasing out the use of out-of-state residential facilities by California child welfare and probation departments and removing children in foster care from out-of-state facilities by July 1, 2023. This action follows a year of Youth Law Center advocacy demanding that […]

Emergency Planning Toolkit for Youth in Congregate Care

Youth Law Center has developed an emergency planning resource to support attorneys and advocates working with youth in congregate care. As you know more than anyone, youth in congregate care facilities face acute risks in a public health emergency. Meanwhile, the state licensing agencies that are tasked with monitoring the safety and wellbeing of young […]

AB 2005 Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet on AB 2005; a bill that will put restrictions on out of state foster care placements for youth under the supervision of probation.

AB 2005 – Request for Signature

Letter to Governor Brown Requesting Signature on AB 2005, a bill which will ensure that youth under probation supervision are placed in facilities outside of California only as a last resort.

Press Release

Press release: Robin Goldfaden and Javier Stauring Join YLC

AB 388: What Group Home Staff Need to Know

Fact Sheet on AB 388: What Group Home Staff Need to Know. AB 388, which takes effect January 1, 2015, is a new law specifically intended to reduce the frequency of law enforcement involvement and delinquency petitions arising from incidents at group homes.

AB 388: What Youth Advocates Need to Know

Fact Sheet on AB 388: What Youth Advocates Need to Know. AB 388, a new law which takes effect January 1, 2015, is specifically intended to reduce the frequency of law enforcement involvement and delinquency petitions arising from incidents at group homes.

AB 388: What Social Workers Need to Know

Fact sheet for social workers on AB 388: a new law taking effect January 1, 2015, designed to prevent unnecessary policy involvement in group homes and reduce the use of locked detention before trial for foster youth.

Legal Rights of Teens in Out of Home Care (2014)

This booklet, based on California law, covers some of the concerns of a youth in out-of-home care, including types of placements, guardianship, independent living, role of the courts, visitation, confidentiality, pregnancy, money, religion, driving, emancipation and rights and responsibilities of youth in out-of-home care, group or foster homes

AB 388 Chaptered Text

Text of AB 388, bill requiring oversight on the use of law enforcement in group homes, limiting the unnecessary secure detention of foster youth and providing the same protections for foster youth that non-foster youth living at home with parents routinely receive when the come into contact with the delinquency system.

YLC Statement on Solitary Confinement

Statement of the Youth Law Center, Reassessing Solitary Confinemnet II: The Human Rights, Fiscal and Public Safety Consequences, Hearing Before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights

Protecting Youth in the PREA National Standards

These are public comments from youth advocates on proposed standards for the implementation of the National Prison Rape Elimination Act. Although the organizatons support many of the draft regulations, they recommend several revisions that are necessary to fulfill PREA’s mandate and protect youth in secure custody. This publication includes recommendations for the following key issues: […]

Joint Informational Hearing on the California Youth Authority, May 16, 2000

In response to recent disclosures concerning the California Youth Authority, on May 16, 2000, the Senate and Assembly Public Safety Committees held a joint oversight hearing. The Committees heard eleven witnesses concluding with testimony from Robert Presley, Secretary of the Youth and Adult Correctional Agency and Jerry Harper, the newly appointed Director of the Youth […]

Trauma and the Environment of Care in Juvenile Institutions

This article is about trauma and the environment of care – the way detention itself and conditions of confinement affect youth, and some of the things that can be done to mitigate it. This is one of a great series of briefs specifically relating to trauma and youth in the juvenile justice system sponsored by […]

State Settles Gilliam Lawsuit

Rocky Mountain News article about the settlement in E. R. v. McDonnell, a lawsuit in which the Youth Law Center co-counseled.

Danny O. v. Bowman Judgment

Danny O. v. Bowman was a federal class action suit on behalf of all youth who are currently or in the future will be incarcerated at the State Youth Services Center in St. Anthony, Idaho. The suit challenged the defendants’ use of solitary confinement and restraints; education, medical, psychiatric and rehabilitative treatment and services and […]

Jones-Mason v. Anderson Stipulation to Stay Proceedings

Jones-Mason v. Anderson was filed in December 1996 against the State Department of Social Services for failing to establish standards to protect the health and safety of infants and toddlers in group homes and emergency shelters. Group home regulations did not address sanitation in diaper changing, special feeding instructions for infants, or toilet training for […]

Jones-Mason v. Anderson Stipulated Modification

Jones-Mason v. Anderson was filed in December 1996 against the State Department of Social Services for failing to establish standards to protect the health and safety of infants and toddlers in group homes and emergency shelters. Group home regulations did not address sanitation in diaper changing, special feeding instructions for infants, or toilet training for […]

Sacramento Valley Mirror’s Sex, Drugs and Violence in Tehama Juvenile Hall

YLC Attorney Sue Burrell was interviewed for this four part Sacramento Valley Mirror series that exposed alleged sexual misconduct by Tehama County Juvenile Hall staff with detained juveniles. Sue provided background information about applicable laws and regulations. The four part series ran August 19 to August 29, 2009.

YLC Letter to Commissioner Susan Hamilton re Congregate Care for Young Children

Since 2009, the Youth Law Center has been working with Connecticut advocates to reduce group care, particularly for young children under the age of six, using research about the negative effects that group care can have on young children to advocate for change. The Department of Children and Family Services (DCF) issued a report on […]

Nick O. v. Terhune Stipulation and Order

Nick O. v. Terhune was a federal class action challenging the failure of the defendants to provide appropriate special education and related services to youth confined at the California Youth Authority. Judgment was entered on May 7, 1990, in which the defendants agreed to ensure that all class members would be provided with a free […]

Willie M. v. Hunt Judgment and Order

Willie M. v. Hunt was a federal civil rights lawsuit that challenged the state’s failure to provide adequate community-based treatment facilities for children labeled ‘violent’ or ‘aggressive.’ Prior to the lawsuit, class members were often warehoused in large mental health institutions and juvenile training schools and deprived of any meaningful treatment. As a result of […]

Willie M. v. Hunt Complaint

Willie M. v. Hunt was a federal civil rights lawsuit that challenged the state’s failure to provide adequate community-based treatment facilities for children labeled ‘violent’ or ‘aggressive.’ Prior to the lawsuit, class members were often warehoused in large mental health institutions and juvenile training schools and deprived of any meaningful treatment. As a result of […]

Warren v. Saenz Peremptory Writ of Mandate

Warren v. Saenz was a taxpayer action alleging that the California Department of Social Services has deliberately ignored the fact that nine counties — including Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Clara, and Orange — operate shelter facilities in violation of state licensing laws. Charging that thousands of California’s abused and neglected children each year are […]

Warren v. Saenz Petition for Writ and Complaint

Warren v. Saenz was a taxpayer action alleging that the California Department of Social Services has deliberately ignored the fact that nine counties — including Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Clara, and Orange — operate shelter facilities in violation of state licensing laws. Charging that thousands of California’s abused and neglected children each year are […]

Tommy P.v. Board of County Commissioners Memorandum and Judgment

Tommy P. v. Board of County Commissioners was a state court action to insure that children in detention facilities would have a right to adequate education services during long terms of confinement. After trial, the Superior Court held that children have both federal and state constitutional rights to education during confinement, and ordered Spokane County […]

Tommy P. v. Board of Commissioners First Amended Complaint

Tommy P. v. Board of County Commissioners was a state court action to insure that children in detention facilities would have a right to adequate education services during long terms of confinement. After trial, the Superior Court held that children have both federal and state constitutional rights to education during confinement, and ordered Spokane County […]

Morris v. Harper (Wilber v. Cate) Peremptory Writ of Mandamus

This lawsuit was filed in May 2000, challenging the failure of the California Youth Authority (now the Division of Juvenile Justice) to license its inpatient medical and mental health services as required by State law. At the time the lawsuit was filed, the Youth Authority was more than four years beyond the date the licensing […]

Morris v. Harper (Wilber v. Cate) Statement of Decision

This lawsuit was filed in May 2000, challenging the failure of the California Youth Authority (now the Division of Juvenile Justice) to license its inpatient medical and mental health services as required by State law. At the time the lawsuit was filed, the Youth Authority was more than four years beyond the date the licensing […]

Morris v. Harper (Wilber v. Cate) Petition for Writ

This lawsuit was filed in May 2000, challenging the failure of the California Youth Authority (now the Division of Juvenile Justice) to license its inpatient medical and mental health services as required by State law. At the time the lawsuit was filed, the Youth Authority was more than four years beyond the date the licensing […]

Steven L. v. Kern County Settlement Agreement

Steven L. v. Kern County challenged the policies at the Kern County Juvenile Hall and the Kern County Youth Facility regarding access to counsel, mail censorship, and the use of isolation and other discipline. The Youth Law Center entered into a court-approved settlement in May 1991, which resolved all the issues in the case, established […]

Steven L. v. Kern County First Amended Complaint

Steven L. v. Kern County challenged the policies at the Kern County Juvenile Hall and the Kern County Youth Facility regarding access to counsel, mail censorship, and the use of isolation and other discipline. The Youth Law Center entered into a court-approved settlement in May 1991, which resolved all the issues in the case, established […]

Shaw v. San Francisco Settlement Agreement

Shaw v. San Francisco challenged various illegal policies, practices and conditions of confinement at the San Francisco Juvenile Hall (Youth Guidance Center), including an antiquated facility in need of substantial repair and maintenance, fire safety, inadequate staffing and training, disciplinary and grievance procedures, and the failure to provide clean clothes, adequate general or special educational […]

Shaw v. San Francisco Complaint

Shaw v. San Francisco challenged various illegal policies, practices and conditions of confinement at the San Francisco Juvenile Hall (Youth Guidance Center), including an antiquated facility in need of substantial repair and maintenance, fire safety, inadequate staffing and training, disciplinary and grievance procedures, and the failure to provide clean clothes, adequate general or special educational […]

Robert K. v. Bell Consent Order

Robert K. v. Bell was a federal class action brought by nine children who were transferred from the South Carolina Department of Youth Services to the South Carolina Department of Mental Health following attempted suicides at the state training school. Upon transfer, each child was subjected to prolonged periods of solitary confinement. Several of the […]

S.H. v. Reed Stipulation, Injunction and Order re Use of Force

S.H. v. Reed is a federal civil rights class action on behalf of all juveniles in the custody or under the supervision of the Ohio Department of Youth Services (DYS). Confined youth experienced a wide range of abuses including unnecessary use of force by staff; arbitrary and excessive use of discipline, isolation and seclusion; deficient […]

S.H. v. Reed Temporary Restraining Order

S.H. v. Reed is a federal civil rights class action on behalf of all juveniles in the custody or under the supervision of the Ohio Department of Youth Services (DYS). Confined youth experienced a wide range of abuses including unnecessary use of force by staff; arbitrary and excessive use of discipline, isolation and seclusion; deficient […]

S.H. v. Reed Stipulation for Injunctive Relief

S.H. v. Reed is a federal civil rights class action on behalf of all juveniles in the custody or under the supervision of the Ohio Department of Youth Services (DYS). Confined youth experienced a wide range of abuses including unnecessary use of force by staff; arbitrary and excessive use of discipline, isolation and seclusion; deficient […]

S.H. v. Reed Second Amended Complaint

S.H. v. Reed is a federal civil rights class action on behalf of all juveniles in the custody or under the supervision of the Ohio Department of Youth Services (DYS). Confined youth experienced a wide range of abuses including unnecessary use of force by staff; arbitrary and excessive use of discipline, isolation and seclusion; deficient […]

Nick O. v. Terhune Complaint

Nick O. v. Terhune was a federal class action challenging the failure of the defendants to provide appropriate special education and related services to youth confined at the California Youth Authority. Judgment was entered on May 7, 1990, in which the defendants agreed to ensure that all class members would be provided with a free […]

Milonas v. Williams Memorandum Opinion

In Milonas v. Williams, staff attorneys challenged conditions at a secure residential facility in Provo. After a four-week trial, the federal court permanently enjoined the owners of the school from using a lie detector as part of the ‘therapy’ program, censoring students’ mail, locking students up in tiny isolation cells for long periods of time, […]

Milonas v. Williams Second Amended Complaint

In Milonas v. Williams, staff attorneys challenged conditions at a secure residential facility in Provo. After a four-week trial, the federal court permanently enjoined the owners of the school from using a lie detector as part of the ‘therapy’ program, censoring students’ mail, locking students up in tiny isolation cells for long periods of time, […]

Jones-Mason v. Anderson Petition

Jones-Mason v. Anderson was filed in December 1996 against the State Department of Social Services for failing to establish standards to protect the health and safety of infants and toddlers in group homes and emergency shelters. Group home regulations did not address sanitation in diaper changing, special feeding instructions for infants, or toilet training for […]

Johnnie K. v. Crist Stipulation and Order

Johnnie K. v. Crist was a civil rights action brought by juveniles confined in the New Mexico Boys’ School, located in Springer, New Mexico. The lawsuit challenged the mail censorship procedures followed at the school which allowed staff to read and censor mail sent to or from any boy confined at the facility, for any […]

Johnnie K. v. Crist Complaint

Johnnie K. v. Crist was a civil rights action brought by juveniles confined in the New Mexico Boys’ School, located in Springer, New Mexico. The lawsuit challenged the mail censorship procedures followed at the school which allowed staff to read and censor mail sent to or from any boy confined at the facility, for any […]

Jane G. v. Solano County Settlement Agreement and Order

Jane G. v. Solano County was filed on behalf of a 17-year-old girl who was placed at Solano County Juvenile Hall while awaiting disposition of misdemeanor charges. The lawsuit challenged a variety of practices at the Juvenile Hall, including using isolation as punishment; forcing children to remain in their cells for days at a time […]

Jane G. v. Solano County Complaint

Jane G. v. Solano County was filed on behalf of a 17-year-old girl who was placed at Solano County Juvenile Hall while awaiting disposition of misdemeanor charges. The lawsuit challenged a variety of practices at the Juvenile Hall, including using isolation as punishment; forcing children to remain in their cells for days at a time […]

Hollingsworth v. Orange County Statement of Decision and Judgment

Hollingsworth v. Orange County was a conditions of confinement case filed in state court. The issues in this case were mail, telephone calls, visitation, access to legal materials, personal property, overcrowding, exercise and recreation, imposition of discipline, and grievance procedures, using soft-tie restraints (stripping children to their underwear and tying them to the four corners […]

Hollingsworth v. Orange County Third Amended Complaint

Hollingsworth v. Orange County was a conditions of confinement case filed in state court. The issues in this case were mail, telephone calls, visitation, access to legal materials, personal property, overcrowding, exercise and recreation, imposition of discipline, and grievance procedures, using soft-tie restraints (stripping children to their underwear and tying them to the four corners […]

Gary H. v. Hegstrom Final Decree and Judgement

Gary H. v. Hegstrom challenged the conditions of confinement and adequacy of treatment programs for juveniles at the MacLaren School for Boys, the maximum security institution for delinquents in Oregon. In December, 1984, U.S. District Court Judge James Burns ruled that isolation practices at MacLaren were unconstitutional. He found that an excessive number of juveniles […]

Gary H. v. Hegstrom Second Amended Complaint

Gary H. v. Hegstrom challenged the conditions of confinement and adequacy of treatment programs for juveniles at the MacLaren School for Boys, the maximum security institution for delinquents in Oregon. In December, 1984, U.S. District Court Judge James Burns ruled that isolation practices at MacLaren were unconstitutional. He found that an excessive number of juveniles […]

G.C. v. Coler Settlement Agreement

G.C. v. Coler was a federal, class action lawsuit brought on behalf of children confined at the Broward County Regional Juvenile Detention Center for inadequate and inappropriate conditions of confinement. Children there were subjected to overcrowding, inappropriate placement, unsanitary and dangerous physical conditions, lack of security, lack of adequate staff, abusive punishment including isolation and […]

G.C. v. Coler Second Amended Complaint

G.C. v. Coler was a federal, class action lawsuit brought on behalf of children confined at the Broward County Regional Juvenile Detention Center for inadequate and inappropriate conditions of confinement. Children there were subjected to overcrowding, inappropriate placement, unsanitary and dangerous physical conditions, lack of security, lack of adequate staff, abusive punishment including isolation and […]

E.R. v. McDonnell Settlement Agreement and Order

E.R. v. McDonnell, was filed in December 1995, on behalf of two children confined in the Phillip B. Gilliam Youth Services Center against officials in the Colorado Department of Human Services, the Division of Youth Services, and the Denver Public School District. The complaint alleged unconstitutional overcrowding; problems with safety, health and sanitation; deficiencies in […]

E.R. v. McDonnell First Amended Complaint

E.R. v. McDonnell, was filed in December 1995, on behalf of two children confined in the Phillip B. Gilliam Youth Services Center against officials in the Colorado Department of Human Services, the Division of Youth Services, and the Denver Public School District. The complaint alleged unconstitutional overcrowding; problems with safety, health and sanitation; deficiencies in […]

Doe v. Younger Settlement Agreement

Doe v. Younger challenged the conditions of confinement for juveniles at the Kenton County Detention Center as well as the illegal confinement of juveniles in sight and sound of adult offenders and the illegal detention of status offenders. The JJDPA claims were later dropped from the litigation when Kentucky withdrew from the Act. A tentative […]

Doe v. Younger Amended Complaint

Doe v. Younger challenged the conditions of confinement for juveniles at the Kenton County Detention Center as well as the illegal confinement of juveniles in sight and sound of adult offenders and the illegal detention of status offenders. The JJDPA claims were later dropped from the litigation when Kentucky withdrew from the Act. A tentative […]

Doe v. Foti Consent Decree

Doe v. Foti was a civil rights class action challenging conditions of confinement for juveniles in the Conchetta Facility, Orleans Parish Prison, in New Orleans, and the policies and practices of defendants of confining juveniles in that Detention Center. Specific allegations included an inadequate educational program consisting of at best five hours of school per […]

Doe v. Foti Complaint

Doe v. Foti was a civil rights class action challenging conditions of confinement for juveniles in the Conchetta Facility, Orleans Parish Prison, in New Orleans, and the policies and practices of defendants of confining juveniles in that Detention Center. Specific allegations included an inadequate educational program consisting of at best five hours of school per […]

Danny O. v. Bowman Complaint

Danny O. v. Bowman was a federal class action suit on behalf of all youth who are currently or in the future will be incarcerated at the State Youth Services Center in St. Anthony, Idaho. The suit challenged the defendants’ use of solitary confinement and restraints; education, medical, psychiatric and rehabilitative treatment and services and […]

D.J.R. v. Christean Consent Decree

D.J.R. v. Christean was a federal civil rights class action which challenged the use of excessive and unnecessary ‘preventive’ pretrial detention of children in the Salt Lake County Detention Center. The Detention Center’s records revealed that less than five percent of the 2,200 children detained during 1982 were charged with serious crimes against persons, and […]

Clarence M. v. Yakima Parital Consent Judgment

Clarence M. v. Yakima was a civil rights action for declaratory judgment, permanent injunction, damages and other relief, challenging the conditions of confinement at the Yakima County Detention Facility. Plaintiffs alleged that they were subjected to arbitrary discipline, isolation in a small, dark and unventilated room for up to 24 hours for punishment, showers within […]

Clarence M. v. Yakima Amended Complaint

Clarence M. v. Yakima was a civil rights action for declaratory judgment, permanent injunction, damages and other relief, challenging the conditions of confinement at the Yakima County Detention Facility. Plaintiffs alleged that they were subjected to arbitrary discipline, isolation in a small, dark and unventilated room for up to 24 hours for punishment, showers within […]

Christina A. v. Bloomberg Settlement Agreement

Christina A. v. Bloomberg challenged the conditions of confinement at the South Dakota State Training School in Plankinton. The Youth Law Center filed this civil rights class action lawsuit in February 2000, to challenge staff placing youth, including girls stripped to their underwear or completely naked, in four-point restraints spread eagled on cement slabs; locking […]

Christina A. v. Bloomberg Complaint

Christina A. v. Bloomberg challenged the conditions of confinement at the South Dakota State Training School in Plankinton. The Youth Law Center filed this civil rights class action lawsuit in February 2000, to challenge staff placing youth, including girls stripped to their underwear or completely naked, in four-point restraints spread eagled on cement slabs; locking […]

Booraem v. Orange County Settlement Agreement

Booraem v. Orange County, filed in August 1998, challenged the detention of abused and neglected infants and young children for extended periods of time under illegal and unconstitutional conditions in Orangewood Children’s Home, an unlicensed institution owned and operated by Orange County. The lawsuit targeted Orangewood’s failure to meet the mandated standards of care for […]

Booraem v. Orange County Complaint and Petition for Writ of Mandate

Booraem v. Orange County, filed in August 1998, challenged the detention of abused and neglected infants and young children for extended periods of time under illegal and unconstitutional conditions in Orangewood Children’s Home, an unlicensed institution owned and operated by Orange County. The lawsuit targeted Orangewood’s failure to meet the mandated standards of care for […]

Bohler v. Anderson Order Granting Writ of Mandate

Bohler v. Anderson was filed in June 1997 over the failure of the Department of Social Services to develop a system for deciding where to place abused and neglected children. The state spends between $1100 and $5000 per month per child on group home care, depending upon the intensity of care needed for troubled children. […]

Bohler v. Anderson Petition for Writ of Mandate

Bohler v. Anderson was filed in June 1997 over the failure of the Department of Social Services to develop a system for deciding where to place abused and neglected children. The state spends between $1100 and $5000 per month per child on group home care, depending upon the intensity of care needed for troubled children. […]

Bobby M. v. Martinez Consent Decreee

Bobby M. v. Martinez, a federal class action, was brought on behalf of the 1,000 children confined at the Florida state training schools at Marianna, Ocala, and Okeechobee. The action challenged policies, practices, and conditions in the institutions—including ‘hogtying’ children with handcuffs and ankle cuffs, serious overcrowding, unsanitary living conditions, inadequate supervision and training of […]

Bobby M. v. Martinez Second Amended Complaint

Bobby M. v. Martinez, a federal class action, was brought on behalf of the 1,000 children confined at the Florida state training schools at Marianna, Ocala, and Okeechobee. The action challenged policies, practices, and conditions in the institutions—including ‘hogtying’ children with handcuffs and ankle cuffs, serious overcrowding, unsanitary living conditions, inadequate supervision and training of […]

ACLU-NM v. New Mexico CYFD 2010 Complaint

Since 2002, YLC staff has worked with the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico (ACLU-NM) on ACLU of New Mexico v. New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Department to improve living conditions and rehabilitation services for young people in state juvenile justice facilities. YLC serves as co-counsel in litigation that resulted in settlement agreements […]

ACLU-NM v. New Mexico CYFD Final Agreement

Since 2002, YLC staff has worked with the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico (ACLU-NM) on ACLU of New Mexico v. New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Department to improve living conditions and rehabilitation services for young people in state juvenile justice facilities. YLC serves as co-counsel in litigation that resulted in settlement agreements […]

ACLU-NM v. New Mexico CYFD Settlement Press Release 2009

Since 2002, YLC staff has worked with the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico (ACLU-NM) on ACLU of New Mexico v. New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Department to improve living conditions and rehabilitation services for young people in state juvenile justice facilities. YLC serves as co-counsel in litigation that resulted in settlement agreements […]

ACLU-NM v. New Mexico CYFD Appendix to 2006 Agreement

Since 2002, YLC staff has worked with the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico (ACLU-NM) on ACLU of New Mexico v. New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Department to improve living conditions and rehabilitation services for young people in state juvenile justice facilities. YLC serves as co-counsel in litigation that resulted in settlement agreements […]

ACLU-NM v. New Mexico CYFD 2006 Agreement

Since 2002, YLC staff has worked with the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico (ACLU-NM) on ACLU of New Mexico v. New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Department to improve living conditions and rehabilitation services for young people in state juvenile justice facilities. YLC serves as co-counsel in litigation that resulted in settlement agreements […]

Anthony C. v. Pima County Stipulation and Agreement

Anthony C. v. Pima County was filed in 1982 to challenge a number of practices at the Pima County Detention Center in Tucson. These included use of leather restraints, inadequate treatment programs, mail censorship, restrictions on visitation, overcrowding, and failure to provide 24-hour detention hearings. After protracted negotiations, local officials entered into a consent decree […]

Recommendations on Children in Foster Care – California Working Families Policy Summit

The Youth Law Center was co-sponsor of the 2009 California Working Families Policy Summit, held January 13 at the Sacramento Convention Center. Organized by The California Center for Research on Women and Families, the Summit brought together over 700 policymakers and advocates to address high priority policy issues for California families. This year’s Summit Workshops […]

Working Together: Building Local Monitoring Capacity for Juvenile Detention Centers

This report describes a project undertaken when the California Legislature defunded state inspections of juvenile defender centers as part of its 1992 budget negotiations. The legislation substituted a “self inspection” process that called for local jurisdictions to monitor themselves. The Annie E. Casey Foundation provided funding to YLC to provide training on how to do […]

Anthony C. v. Pima County Complaint

Anthony C. v. Pima County was filed in 1982 to challenge a number of practices at the Pima County Detention Center in Tucson. These included use of leather restraints, inadequate treatment programs, mail censorship, restrictions on visitation, overcrowding, and failure to provide 24-hour detention hearings. After protracted negotiations, local officials entered into a consent decree […]

Aguilar v. Mitchell Complaint

Aguilar v. Mitchell was a federal court action involving conditions of confinement of children in the detention center in Walla Walla. At the trial, experts in the areas of child psychiatry, adolescent medicine, institutional program planning, environmental engineering, and architecture testified concerning the harmful effects of confining children for 24 hours a day in dirty, […]

ACLU NM v. NMCYFD 2007 Complaint

Since 2002, YLC staff has worked with the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico (ACLU-NM) on ACLU of New Mexico v. New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Department to improve living conditions and rehabilitation services for young people in state juvenile justice facilities. YLC serves as co-counsel in litigation that resulted in settlement agreements […]

The Prison Rape Elimination Act Standards – Comments from Youth Advocates on Minimum Staffing Ratios in Juvenile Facilities

Youth Law Center joined other advocacy organizations in submitting formal comments to Attorney General Eric Holder requesting that the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) regulations retain staffing ratios for juvenile facilities. PREA regulations were issued in June 2012 calling for juvenile facilities around the country to increase staff training, provide Although the proposed regulation on […]

Energy Efficient Strategies for Defenders to Improve Conditions for Clents in Custody

This is a short discussion of strategies defenders may use to address individual client situations as well as systemic issues. While people often think that conditions advocacy necessarily implicates litigation, the truth is that many problems can be resolved quickly and effectively through the straightforward mechanisms outlined below. These strategies are designed to have maximum […]

Moving Away From Hardware: The JDAI Standards on Fixed Restaints

This is the first in a series of papers on conditions of confinement issues for the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI), to be written by the Youth Law Center and Center for Children’s Law and Policy.  Both organizations provide technical assistance to JDAI sites on assessing and improving conditions in their local detention centers.  The […]

Getting Out of the Red Zone – Youth from the Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Systems Speak Out about the Obstacles to Completing their Education, and What Could Help

This publication describes the process the Youth Law Center underwent to conduct a series of focus groups of youth who were or had been in the juvenile justice or foster care systems, parents of such youth and foster parents. It also contains comments from the participants on such topics as school disruptions, suspensions and expulsions, […]

The Human Impact of Crowding in Juvenile Detention

This article explores the human impact of crowding as actually observed in detention centers around the country through the eyes of juvenile advocates. It paints a dismal portrait of a system which is meant to humanely care for youth and shows how crowding and its effects are exacerbated by inappropriate detention decisions, systemic inefficiencies, and […]

Institutions vs. Foster Homes: The Empirical Base for a Century of Action

This is an important report on recent research comparing the advantages and disadvantages of institutional care to those of family foster care and other forms of out-of-home care. The report found that compared to foster care, institutions: (1) are not safer or better at promoting child development; (2) are not more stable; (3) generally fail […]