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Juvenile and Children's Advocacy Project

Juvenile and Children's Advocacy Project Legal services non-profit for economically and socially disadvantaged youth in the greater Houston area.

The Juvenile and Children's Advocacy Project (JCAP) at the University of Houston Law Center was established in 2014 by David R. Dow, longtime death penalty attorney, founder of the Texas Innocence Network, and Professor of Law at the University of Houston Law Center. JCAP seeks to reduce juvenile delinquency and improve life outcomes for socially and economically disadvantaged youth through the pr

The Juvenile and Children's Advocacy Project (JCAP) at the University of Houston Law Center was established in 2014 by David R. Dow, longtime death penalty attorney, founder of the Texas Innocence Network, and Professor of Law at the University of Houston Law Center. JCAP seeks to reduce juvenile delinquency and improve life outcomes for socially and economically disadvantaged youth through the pr

Operating as usual

The Juvenile and Children's Advocacy Project at the University of Houston Law Center today announced its first corporate...
01/25/2022

The Juvenile and Children's Advocacy Project at the University of Houston Law Center today announced its first corporate with CenterPoint Energy. CenterPoint Energy’s legal department, as well as outside counsel, are working with JCAP on a on pro bono juvenile record-sealing program. The program’s goal is to improve the lives of young individuals so that they no longer encounter barriers when they apply to college, enlist in the military, obtain financial aid, secure housing, request other public benefits, or seek employment.

“As a leading for juvenile justice in the Houston area, JCAP extends its gratitude to CenterPoint Energy for its incredible support of this critical work,” said Katya Dow, founder and legal programs director, JCAP and professor of practice at UH Law Center.

CenterPoint Energy’s legal team includes attorneys Monica Karuturi, Shane Kimzey, Pooja Amin, John Price, Stephanie Bundage, Mickey Moon, Shannon Terry, Darrell Williams and several staff members who are providing pro bono juvenile record-sealing services for families in Harris County.

CenterPoint’s outside counsel, Cynthia Mabry and Rob Shearer of Akin Gump; Christy Ho, Brooksie Boutet, Xperanza Uviedo, Joel Montgomery, and Tien Hunter of Shipley Snell Montgomery; and Jim Barkley and Tyler Murray of Baker Botts are also providing support to represent juvenile clients referred by JCAP and Houston Volunteer Lawyers.

CenterPoint Energy’s legal department also provided funding for the development of and tools to enhance JCAP’s ability to increase its impact in the greater area.




Meredith Johnson Duncan, David R. Dow, Gavriella Roisman

Juvenile and Children's Advocacy Project's Education Rights Clinic hosted a "Know Your Rights" Event with Collective Act...
12/03/2021

Juvenile and Children's Advocacy Project's Education Rights Clinic hosted a "Know Your Rights" Event with Collective Action For Youth. Incredible community collaboration and participation, including discussions and role playing. It was amazing to meet so many new colleagues and friends and we look forward to more events!
Katya DowKatya Dow
David R. Dow
Meredith Johnson Duncan
Gavriella Roisman
Dieter Cantu

Juvenile and Children's Advocacy Project is excited to announce the return of our Education Rights Clinic. JCAP knows th...
08/11/2021

Juvenile and Children's Advocacy Project is excited to announce the return of our Education Rights Clinic. JCAP knows that school advocacy is a critical component in disrupting the and justice involvement for children in general.
For more information, contact Gavriella Roisman, Supervising Attorney ([email protected]), or submit direct referrals by clicking below: https://forms.office.com/r/mFTYf25URG
Katya Dow, David R. Dow

Another awesome presentation by Steve Halpert from the Harris County Public Defender's Office in ethics in juvenile repr...
07/22/2021

Another awesome presentation by Steve Halpert from the Harris County Public Defender's Office in ethics in juvenile representation for our JCAP summer interns!

Juvenile and Children's Advocacy Project interns working with the illustrious Harris County Youth Collective on their in...
07/15/2021

Juvenile and Children's Advocacy Project interns working with the illustrious Harris County Youth Collective on their informational promotion for their upcoming rebranding launch! Stay tuned!

Did you know that an alarming 60% of children who were victims of child sex trafficking had been involved with child wel...
06/15/2021

Did you know that an alarming 60% of children who were victims of child sex trafficking had been involved with child welfare services?
Join Juvenile and Children's Advocacy Project, United Against Human Trafficking, and Houston Rescue and Restore Coalition TOMORROW JUNE 16, for a panel discussion on Foster Kids and Human Trafficking.
Katya Dow
Register here: https://lnkd.in/duTBEVr

Join United Against Human Trafficking, Houston Rescue and Restore Coalition and Juvenile and Children's Advocacy Project...
05/26/2021

Join United Against Human Trafficking, Houston Rescue and Restore Coalition and Juvenile and Children's Advocacy Project (JCAP)'s for a panel discussion on Foster Kids and Human Trafficking.
Wednesday, June 16
12:00 pm
Zoom registration here: https://lnkd.in/gHk2FDv

Restoring JusticeHarris County Youth CollectiveFoster Care Advocacy CenterHouston's Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment C...
05/19/2021

Restoring Justice
Harris County Youth Collective
Foster Care Advocacy Center
Houston's Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation

We need to rethink how we work with youth with dual-system involvement.  Thank you Texas Appleseed for this eloquent and...
03/13/2021

We need to rethink how we work with youth with dual-system involvement. Thank you Texas Appleseed for this eloquent and thought-provoking snapshot of the obstacles facing our must vulnerable youth. Katya Dow

Important investigation into what is happening in our detention centers by Texas Appleseed and Disability Rights Texas.h...
10/21/2020
“They are hurting them”: Advocacy groups ask feds to investigate sexual assaults, gang violence in Texas youth lockups

Important investigation into what is happening in our detention centers by Texas Appleseed and Disability Rights Texas.
https://www.texastribune.org/2020/10/21/texas-juvenile-justice-department-abuse/

The request is the latest chapter in a scandal-plagued recent history for the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, which has experienced high turnover rates among staff and leadership.

The Juvenile and Children’s Advocacy Project is honored to receive $50,000 from the Greater Houston Community Foundation...
08/13/2020

The Juvenile and Children’s Advocacy Project is honored to receive $50,000 from the Greater Houston Community Foundation, through the Harris County Youth Collective. We are grateful to both organizations for their support and of our programs to provide quality legal services and zealous advocacy for minority and underprivileged youth in Harris County.

CC: University of Houston Law Center

City of Galveston launches federally funded rental assistance program
08/12/2020
City of Galveston launches federally funded rental assistance program

City of Galveston launches federally funded rental assistance program

Galveston city residents struggling to keep pace with monthly rent during the COVID-19 pandemic will have the opportunity to apply for a federally funded rental assistance program this week that could cover up to three months of rent, security deposits or utility bills. The city announced Friday it....

"A 15-year-old in Michigan was incarcerated during the coronavirus pandemic after a judge ruled that not completing her ...
07/29/2020
A Teenager Didn’t Do Her Online Schoolwork. So a Judge Sent Her to Juvenile Detention.

"A 15-year-old in Michigan was incarcerated during the coronavirus pandemic after a judge ruled that not completing her schoolwork violated her probation. 'It just doesn’t make any sense,' said the girl’s mother."

We agree. This makes no sense.

A 15-year-old in Michigan was incarcerated during the coronavirus pandemic after a judge ruled that not completing her schoolwork violated her probation. “It just doesn’t make any sense,” said the girl’s mother.

07/27/2020

Our staff attorney, Christina Beeler, recently partnered with The Implicit Bias Initiative Team, including ONE Houston, to create this video about the school-to-prison pipeline and how to draft more inclusive student codes of conduct. Please share with your networks!

Our staff attorney, Christina Beeler, was on Houston Public Media’s Houston Matters this morning talking about De’Andre ...
07/23/2020
Wednesday’s Houston Matters: School District Hearing, Political Roundup, And Quarantine Mental Health (July 22, 2020) | Houston Public Media

Our staff attorney, Christina Beeler, was on Houston Public Media’s Houston Matters this morning talking about De’Andre Arnold and Kaden Bradford’s effective expulsions from Barbers Hill ISD for their culturally significant locs. If you missed the interview, you can hear it at this link.

On Wednesday's show: Legal challenges to student suspensions, new developments in politics, staying mentally healthy in quarantine, and what we can glean from fighting diseases of the past.

Tune in to Houston Public Media's Houston Matters tomorrow morning at 9:00 AM to hear our staff attorney, Christina Beel...
07/22/2020
Texas Students Suspended Over Dreadlocks Continue Fight Against Barbers Hill School District | Houston Public Media

Tune in to Houston Public Media's Houston Matters tomorrow morning at 9:00 AM to hear our staff attorney, Christina Beeler, talk about this case.

Hair discrimination is racism, and Barbers Hill ISD's policy and its racist enforcement is unconstitutional and in violation of federal law.

The district's grooming policy and discipline sparked national attention, as the students and many advocates called it an example of hair discrimination.

This Monday at 3 pm, the Barbers Hill ISD school board is holding a virtual meeting to hear the grievance appeals of Kad...
07/18/2020
The Juvenile and Children’s Advocacy Project

This Monday at 3 pm, the Barbers Hill ISD school board is holding a virtual meeting to hear the grievance appeals of Kaden Bradford and De’Andre Arnold, who were both suspended in January for wearing locs.

JCAP and the ACLU of Texas are urging the school board to change its discriminatory policies and to allow Kaden to return to school this fall without being forced to cut his natural Black hair.

On our blog, you can read Kaden’s appeal letter and find the link to watch the hearing or sign up to give public comment by e-mailing the school district by Monday at noon.

Link to De’Andre’s appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres show in the comments.

The Juvenile and Children's Advocacy Project of Texas is a vocal advocate for Harris County juveniles and adults affected by the juvenile justice system through efforts dedicated to juvenile record sealing, direct representation for dual-status youth, and mentorship.

JCAP is so proud of Nahyle and her outstanding accomplishments!
06/20/2020

JCAP is so proud of Nahyle and her outstanding accomplishments!

Like our colleagues at Texas Appleseed, JCAP believes that Black Lives Matter. We see you. We hear you. We stand with yo...
06/02/2020

Like our colleagues at Texas Appleseed, JCAP believes that Black Lives Matter. We see you. We hear you. We stand with you.

Our response to this moment. You can read it in full at this link:

https://www.texasappleseed.org/our-response-moment

One of our school clients, Malek Al Rafai, is highlighted in this article. Our staff attorney, Christina Beeler, is quot...
05/05/2020
Should distance learning count toward school discipline days? Advocacy groups say yes

One of our school clients, Malek Al Rafai, is highlighted in this article. Our staff attorney, Christina Beeler, is quoted about the letter we recently sent to Houston-area districts to ask them to commit to counting distance-learning days toward JJAEP and DAEP placements.

We've heard back from 10 of the 20 districts to which we sent the letter. Of those 10, 9 committed to counting distance-learning days toward both DAEP and JJAEP placements (Aldine ISD, Alief ISD, Clear Creek ISD, Conroe ISD, Cy-Fair ISD, Fort Bend ISD, Huffman ISD, Lamar Consolidated ISD, and Spring Branch ISD). 1 committed to counting distance-learning days toward DAEP (Houston ISD). 8 have not responded, and 2 have said they will get a decision to us soon.

Notably, Fort Bend ISD and Huffman ISD said that no JJAEP or DAEP placements will extend beyond the academic year and that all students in both districts will start back at their home campuses in August 2020. Huffman ISD is even using buses as mobile hotspots for areas in their district with kids who do not have internet access.

Cypress-Fairbanks ISD asked all secondary principals to consider reducing or waiving removals to DAEP and expulsions to JJAEP for non-violent offenses. Several principals have used their discretion to waive entire placements, and all remaining placements have been reduced and will not extend beyond the end of the school year. All elementary DAEP placements were waived.

We hope that other school districts will consider modeling their own approaches after the approaches of Cy-Fair ISD, Fort Bend ISD, and Huffman ISD.

Students enrolled in disciplinary alternative schools in a bind during pandemic

Our staff attorney, Christina Beeler, was interviewed by Laura Isensee for this article. Kids deserve a fresh start when...
04/30/2020
Advocates: Houston-Area Students In Alternative Schools Need ‘Fresh Start’ After COVID | Houston Public Media

Our staff attorney, Christina Beeler, was interviewed by Laura Isensee for this article.

Kids deserve a fresh start when they return to school in August.

If a school district were to decide not to count distance-learning days for purposes of school discipline during this challenging time, students of color, students with disabilities, and students in low-income households would be disproportionately affected.

We sent the letter featured in this article to 20 Houston-area school districts. 5 of 20 have responded so far and have committed to counting distance-learning days toward school discipline: Alief ISD, Clear Creek ISD, Conroe ISD, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, and Lamar-Consolidated ISD.

Cypress-Fairbanks ISD's approach is particularly notable. They are not only counting distance-learning days. They also waived all elementary school DAEP placements and asked all secondary principals to consider waiving or reducing placements and expulsions for non-violent offenses. We hope all districts will consider adopting a similar approach.

Advocates argue that the students -- separated for things like dress code violations, lashing out at teachers or getting into fights -- shouldn't face additional consequences "for something that is so out of their control."

Our staff attorney and Equal Justice Works Fellow, Christina Beeler, was featured in this post in which she shared some ...
04/30/2020
Supporting Students During COVID-19 School Closures - Equal Justice Works

Our staff attorney and Equal Justice Works Fellow, Christina Beeler, was featured in this post in which she shared some of the new challenges for students amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Equal Justice Works Fellows throughout the country describe the challenges to protecting students' educational rights amid COVID-19 school closures.

Check out our latest blog post about the Dear Colleague letter we sent to Houston-area school districts this week regard...
04/28/2020
The Juvenile and Children’s Advocacy Project

Check out our latest blog post about the Dear Colleague letter we sent to Houston-area school districts this week regarding the importance of counting distance-learning days toward discipline placement days for students who were removed to a district alternative education program (DAEP) or expelled to Harris County's Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program (JJAEP) prior to COVID-19 school closures.

This is an equity issue. Exclusionary discipline disproportionately affects students of color, students with disabilities, and students living in low income homes. Any decision by a school district not to count distance-learning days toward school discipline placement days during this challenging time will disproportionately affect these groups.

If you live in a school district that has not responded to our letter, please contact your school board trustees and share your concerns.

The Juvenile and Children's Advocacy Project of Texas is a vocal advocate for Harris County juveniles and adults affected by the juvenile justice system through efforts dedicated to juvenile record sealing, direct representation for dual-status youth, and mentorship.

Address

4604 Calhoun Road
Houston, TX
77204-6060

Opening Hours

Monday 9am - 5pm
Tuesday 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Thursday 9am - 5pm
Friday 9am - 5pm

Telephone

+17137431132

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The Juvenile and Children's Advocacy Project at the University of Houston Law Center today announced its first corporate with CenterPoint Energy. CenterPoint Energy’s legal department, as well as outside counsel, are working with JCAP on a on pro bono juvenile record-sealing program. The program’s goal is to improve the lives of young individuals so that they no longer encounter barriers when they apply to college, enlist in the military, obtain financial aid, secure housing, request other public benefits, or seek employment.

“As a leading for juvenile justice in the Houston area, JCAP extends its gratitude to CenterPoint Energy for its incredible support of this critical work,” said Katya Dow, founder and legal programs director, JCAP and professor of practice at UH Law Center.

CenterPoint Energy’s legal team includes attorneys Monica Karuturi, Shane Kimzey, Pooja Amin, John Price, Stephanie Bundage, Mickey Moon, Shannon Terry, Darrell Williams and several staff members who are providing pro bono juvenile record-sealing services for families in Harris County.

CenterPoint’s outside counsel, Cynthia Mabry and Rob Shearer of Akin Gump; Christy Ho, Brooksie Boutet, Xperanza Uviedo, Joel Montgomery, and Tien Hunter of Shipley Snell Montgomery; and Jim Barkley and Tyler Murray of Baker Botts are also providing support to represent juvenile clients referred by JCAP and Houston Volunteer Lawyers.

CenterPoint Energy’s legal department also provided funding for the development of and tools to enhance JCAP’s ability to increase its impact in the greater area.




Meredith Johnson Duncan, David R. Dow, Gavriella Roisman
Incredible afternoon teaching about Human Trafficking to the students of Bellaire High School. A huge thank you to Restoring Justice's Youth for Justice club for hosting this event to commemerate January as the month.
Houston Rescue and Restore Coalition
Katya Dow
Gavriella Roisman
David R. Dow
Juvenile and Children's Advocacy Project's Education Rights Clinic hosted a "Know Your Rights" Event with Collective Action For Youth. Incredible community collaboration and participation, including discussions and role playing. It was amazing to meet so many new colleagues and friends and we look forward to more events!
Katya DowKatya Dow
David R. Dow
Meredith Johnson Duncan
Gavriella Roisman
Dieter Cantu
Juvenile and Children's Advocacy Project is excited to announce the return of our Education Rights Clinic. JCAP knows that school advocacy is a critical component in disrupting the and justice involvement for children in general.
For more information, contact Gavriella Roisman, Supervising Attorney ([email protected]), or submit direct referrals by clicking below: https://forms.office.com/r/mFTYf25URG
Katya Dow, David R. Dow
The Juvenile and Children's Advocacy Project is a proud supporter and sponsor of Senator Brian Schatz's new legislation removing barriers to higher education for Americans with criminal records.

Katya Dow
Another awesome presentation by Steve Halpert from the Harris County Public Defender's Office in ethics in juvenile representation for our JCAP summer interns!
Juvenile and Children's Advocacy Project interns working with the illustrious Harris County Youth Collective on their informational promotion for their upcoming rebranding launch! Stay tuned!

Did you know that an alarming 60% of children who were victims of child s*x trafficking had been involved with child welfare services?
Join Juvenile and Children's Advocacy Project, United Against Human Trafficking, and Houston Rescue and Restore Coalition TOMORROW JUNE 16, for a panel discussion on Foster Kids and Human Trafficking.
Katya Dow
Register here: https://lnkd.in/duTBEVr
Join United Against Human Trafficking, Houston Rescue and Restore Coalition and Juvenile and Children's Advocacy Project (JCAP)'s for a panel discussion on Foster Kids and Human Trafficking.
Wednesday, June 16
12:00 pm
Zoom registration here: https://lnkd.in/gHk2FDv
Restoring Justice
Harris County Youth Collective
Foster Care Advocacy Center
Houston's Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation
CLE Alert! Katya Dow and Houston Volunteer Lawyers are partnering again for the New Attorney Pro Bono Project to offer a Juvenile Record Sealing CLE. Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_zxwrPO3QS76pzjf8wNo9NQ
We need to rethink how we work with youth with dual-system involvement. Thank you Texas Appleseed for this eloquent and thought-provoking snapshot of the obstacles facing our must vulnerable youth. Katya Dow

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