Center for Children's Law and Policy

Center for Children's Law and Policy The Center for Children’s Law and Policy is a public interest law and policy organization focused on reform of juvenile justice and other systems that affect troubled and at-risk children, and protection of the rights of children in those systems.

Operating as usual

"Maryland’s code contains many laws that bring young people, and disproportionately youth of color, to the attention of ...
12/10/2020
Opinion: It’s Time to Expand Concept, Scope of Police Reform – Maryland Matters

"Maryland’s code contains many laws that bring young people, and disproportionately youth of color, to the attention of the justice system. Most often, this is for typically adolescent behaviors, reflecting how we have marginalized large segments of Maryland’s youth."

Maryland’s legislature will convene again in January; though anything but a typical year, bills will be introduced to reform the criminal justice system. Many bills, as currently drafted, focus on the important issue of police reform – which has received much deserved attention in recent months....

11/24/2020
#GivingTuesday

Hi Friends,

Please join CCLP as we participate in this year’s #GivingTuesday!
#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving that takes place December 1st this year. That’s right — following Black Friday and Cyber Monday!
What better way to start getting into the holiday giving-back spirit?

We’d love if you participated with us. The best way to do that is to share our cause on social media using the hashtag(s) #GivingTuesday #The_CCLP #SSK and join millions of global givers on December 1st.

Your donation will help us continue to work with jurisdictions to create policies and programs that are designed to see the potential in all youth and help them thrive, even if they are involved with the justice system.

Mark your calendars, spread the word, and stay tuned for more details!

11/23/2020
Human Rights for Kids

CCLP was honored to be part of this important discussion last Friday on World Children's Day. Thanks to all of our Maryland-based and national partners for holding policymakers accountable for needed youth justice reforms!

Please be sure to watch this virtual discussion hosted by Advocates for Children and Youth and DecrimMaryland, featuring HRFK and its partners R Street Institute, Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Maryland Catholic Conference, and the Center for Children's Law and Policy where we explored how Maryland fared in our 2020 National State Ratings Report on Children's Rights Day!

Join the Maryland Youth Justice Coalition in partnership with the People's Commission to Decriminalize Maryland on the I...
11/17/2020

Join the Maryland Youth Justice Coalition in partnership with the People's Commission to Decriminalize Maryland on the International World Children’s Day this Friday at 10am for a virtual discussion on reforms needed in Maryland during the 2021 Legislative Session. The purpose of this discussion is to inspire policy change by uplifting the youth justice best practices of other top ranked states. Register now through the link in the attached flyer and below! #WorldChildrensDay #decrimmaryland

Thank you to CCLP's partners at Maryland Advocates for Children and Youth and Human Rights for Kids for including us in this event!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/how-does-maryland-treat-kids-2020-national-state-rankings-tickets-129238833831?aff=ebdssbonlinesearch

10/09/2020
Covid-19 Youth Justice

Have officials in your jurisdiction implemented reforms to the youth justice system based on the COVID-19 pandemic, or are they returning to past practices? COVID-19 is on the rise. Let’s advocate for youth justice professionals to do their part to keep youth and staff safe with this reminder from the Center for Children’s Law and Policy.

10/08/2020
Covid 19- Youth Justice

States have begun to open up, but this is no time to let up! COVID-19 is on the rise, and it is time to double down on the commitments we made back when the pandemic began, focusing on Black and Brown youth who have been left behind in our response. The Center for Children’s Law and Policy shows us how we can all play a part with this new illustration. Please share this widely with your networks, and let’s keep the pressure up to sustain the progress that was made in the early phases of the pandemic. It would be a mistake and missed opportunity if we didn’t learn important lessons from this time. Learn more here: https://www.cclp.org/animated-graphic-reducing-the-spread-of-covid-19-in-youth-justice-systems/

There's no path forward from this pandemic without addressing the horrors happening behind bars. Learn more about the im...
09/28/2020
Report - Lives on the Line

There's no path forward from this pandemic without addressing the horrors happening behind bars. Learn more about the impact of COVID-19 on incarcerated people and women with incarcerated loved ones from @essie4justice & @ColorOfChange new report: https://livesontheline.org/report/

Report Lives on the line: Women with Incarcerated Loved Ones and the Impact of COVID-19 Behind Bars Download the Report Our survey data illustrates that prisons, jails, and detention centers are both fundamentally incapable of keeping incarcerated people safe and willfully neglecting to take basic p...

Please join our friends at Juvenile Justice Advocates International for their first Virtual Celebration to help children...
09/22/2020
Eventbrite

Please join our friends at Juvenile Justice Advocates International for their first Virtual Celebration to help children living in detention centers in Mexico and Latin America get a brighter future. You can join the live stream too on October 8th. RSVP at http://www.eventbrite.com/.../a-future-for-every-child... and don't forget to #DONATE!

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Maryland residents! Please join us for two upcoming conversations related to our work with the People's Commission to De...
09/08/2020

Maryland residents! Please join us for two upcoming conversations related to our work with the People's Commission to Decriminalize Maryland: Sept. 10 at 6 PM and Sept. 15 at 12 PM. Participants from any region can join the meeting that works best for their schedule. The links to registration and the survey are below. We can't wait to see you there!

The new registration link can be found at: https://buff.ly/2Zacwm6
The survey can be found at: https://buff.ly/3gV6QlL

Happy Friday, everyone! After holding our first two webinars, we took several elements into consideration and have updated our webinars accordingly! We will now be hosting two webinars - on Sept. 10 at 6PM and Sept. 15 at 12PM - that will both be statewide. Participants from any region can now join the meeting that works best for their schedule. We will, however, still offer an opportunity for people from different regions to discuss what issues are important to them in break out sessions! The links to registration and the survey are below. We can't wait to see you there!

The new registration link can be found at: https://buff.ly/2Zacwm6
The survey can be found at: https://buff.ly/3gV6QlL

DecrimMD's second regional webinar will be tomorrow, August 27th, at 6PM for the Capital Region! This includes Frederick...
08/26/2020

DecrimMD's second regional webinar will be tomorrow, August 27th, at 6PM for the Capital Region! This includes Frederick, Montgomery, and Prince George's counties. You can attend this and any other of the regional webinars by registering on our website - which can be found at the link in our bio. And be sure to take the survey (link below)!

DecrimMD's second regional webinar will be on August 27th at 6PM for the Capital Region! This includes Frederick, Montgomery, and Prince George's counties. You can attend this and any other of the regional webinars by registering on our website - which can be found at the link in our bio. And be sure to take our survey! https://www.decrimmaryland.org/post/we-want-to-hear-from-you-regional-survey-and-listening-sessions

We want to make the most of these webinars and learn how we can best serve you.

Register today if you haven't already! The first webinar will be held on August 26th for the Western Regions (Allegany, ...
08/20/2020

Register today if you haven't already! The first webinar will be held on August 26th for the Western Regions (Allegany, Garret, Washington). More info below.

Good morning! DecrimMD will be having our first regional webinar on August 26th at 12PM for the Western Region! This includes Allegany, Garrett, and Washington counties. You can attend this and any other of the regional webinars by registering on our website - which can be found at the link in our bio. And be sure to take our survey! We want to make the most of these webinars and learn how we can best serve you.

Register today to have your voice heard regarding decriminalizing communities in Maryland. The People's Commission to De...
08/18/2020

Register today to have your voice heard regarding decriminalizing communities in Maryland. The People's Commission to Decriminalize Maryland has 7 regional webinars coming up and they want to hear from you! More information on the webinars will be shared within the next few days, but feel free to go on ahead and register now.

The People's Commission to Decriminalize Maryland wants to know what you think about decriminalizing our communities! Take our survey: https://forms.gle/8RyUk4PZmVDWPUD79

We have 7 regional webinars coming up and it is only right that we cover topics that are important to you. If you're interested in attending any (or all😉) of these webinars, click on the link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScjz27RyAZXKNzmjJ0eQbRp__nOlhrFvvtmGhU-m1EMM7s3eg/viewform to let us know what you want to hear about from us! More information on the webinars will be shared next week, but feel free to go on ahead and register now.😌

CCLP is honored to be working with Open Society Institute-Baltimore, Baltimore Action Legal Team, Justice Policy Institu...
07/23/2020

CCLP is honored to be working with Open Society Institute-Baltimore, Baltimore Action Legal Team, Justice Policy Institute, Advocates for Children and Youth and so many other partner’s on the People’s Commission to Decriminalize Maryland. Read more in Maryland Matters (https://www.marylandmatters.org/2020/07/23/commission-to-decriminalize-md-seeks-serious-transformation-of-justice-system/), and sign up for our first state-wide webinar on July 29 here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_1QQQfJ7KRCyRUtm9NJU9WQ.

Please take a moment to review this important data report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. One of the key headlines i...
07/09/2020
Youth Detention Admissions Remain Low, But Releases Stall Despite COVID-19 - The Annie E. Casey Foundation

Please take a moment to review this important data report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. One of the key headlines is that white youth are benefitting from higher release rates than Black youth in the COVID-19 era: “Disparities in release rates that disadvantage Black youth grew, which led to lower overall population declines for Black youth than for white youth.” If this is true in your jurisdiction, it is beyond time to do something. We must take action now to end policies and practices that systemically disadvantage Black youth!

Youth Detention Admissions Remain Low, But Releases Stall Despite COVID-19 - Annie E. Casey Foundation

A survey of juvenile justice agencies in 33 states shows that systems slowed the pace of releasing young people from detention, leaving many young people still living in confinement. Read the results of the COVID-19 survey.

CCLP is honored to be part of the People’s Commission to Decriminalize Race, Poverty, Gender, and Disability in the Stat...
07/01/2020

CCLP is honored to be part of the People’s Commission to Decriminalize Race, Poverty, Gender, and Disability in the State of Maryland. See today’s press release with the official announcement of the commission here: https://www.osibaltimore.org/2020/06/community-leaders-advocates-and-allies-gather-to-launch-first-ever-peoples-commission-to-decriminalize-maryland/. And shout out to our Youth Workgroup Chair, Kendra Marsh, who is quoted in the press release!

Maryland residents are demanding change in our system of justice. Six months ago – at the invitation of Open Society Institute-Baltimore, before COVID-19 began ravaging black and brown communities, before the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many others – a group of Maryland advocates and activists came together to demand fundamental changes to Maryland’s justice system. That effort is the People’s Commission to Decriminalize Maryland.

“When we first conceived of this commission over a year ago, we had no idea that COVID-19 would turn all of our worlds upside down. The pandemic has helped to lay bare the multiple ways our laws build or prop up systems of racism and inequity. It has also inspired leaders and regular folk all over the world to rethink what is fair and what is possible. This Commission’s goals are ambitious, and it is needed now more than ever.” Tara Huffman, Director, Criminal and Juvenile Justice Program, Open Society Institute – Baltimore.

The People’s Commission is one of the few statewide efforts that brings together such a diverse community of people, particularly those with direct lived experiences. This growing community includes anti-poverty advocates, harm reduction activists, Black Lives Matter activists, LGBTQ advocates, Sex Work advocates, and many others. The People’s Commission also includes significant representation from youth and young adults, who are often marginalized and tokenized in statewide reform efforts. The People’s Commission recognizes that youth and young adults are Maryland’s future, and it is committed to having youth and young adults in meaningful leadership roles.

“Maryland is fortunate to have the People’s Commission as a space where citizens can decide what it will take to dismantle laws and policies that have criminalized and marginalized so many groups for so long. I am honored to be part of this reform movement, and the work that lies ahead,” said Kendra Marsh, Chair of the People’s Commission Youth Workgroup.

The People’s Commission is one of the few statewide efforts that brings together such a diverse community of people, particularly those with direct lived experiences. This community includes anti-poverty advocates, harm reduction activists, Black Lives Matter activists, LGBTQ advocates, and many others.

The People’s Commission also includes significant representation from youth and young adults, who are often marginalized and tokenized in statewide reform efforts. The People’s Commission recognizes that youth and young adults are Maryland’s future, and it is committed to having youth and young adults in meaningful leadership roles.

”There is no evidence that sending children to the adult criminal justice system deters future crime,” said Marc Schindl...
06/24/2020

”There is no evidence that sending children to the adult criminal justice system deters future crime,” said Marc Schindler, executive director of the Justice Policy Institute. “In fact, all of the evidence shows that children are at great risk of harm in the adult system that children fare much better when they are treated in a developmentally appropriate manner with rehabilitative supports. The adult criminal justice system is not designed or equipped to work with children, and so all children regardless of the offense should be kept in the juvenile justice system.”

In recent weeks protests have erupted across the country calling for a defunding of law enforcement agencies in favor of diverting funding to jobs programs, health initiatives and other services supporting communities of color. This must include law enforcement ending the practice of treating children as if they are adults.

A new report released today by the Justice Policy Institute and The Campaign for Youth Justice takes a look at how the harsh sentencing of youth as adults in criminal justice continues to be a problem across the nation. Despite the reforms of the last 20 years, youth that still frequently face harsh punishment and transfer into the adult system are disproportionately youth of color. The report finds that ending the adultification of youth by the justice system is an urgent and necessary component of any future reforms in law enforcement.

”There is no evidence that sending children to the adult criminal justice system deters future crime,” said Marc Schindler, executive director of the Justice Policy Institute. “In fact, all of the evidence shows that children are at great risk of harm in the adult system that children fare much better when they are treated in a developmentally appropriate manner with rehabilitative supports. The adult criminal justice system is not designed or equipped to work with children, and so all children regardless of the offense should be kept in the juvenile justice system.”

Read the full report - https://bit.ly/2Vf9MSq

CCLP and The Stop Solitary for Kids Campaign are honored to be part of the Unlock the Box Steering Committee and support...
06/16/2020
As COVID-19 Spreads In Prisons, Lockdowns Spark Fear Of More Solitary Confinement

CCLP and The Stop Solitary for Kids Campaign are honored to be part of the Unlock the Box Steering Committee and support their tremendous work. This landmark report highlights solitary confinement as a grave public health issue.

With many U.S. prisons on lockdown amid the pandemic, keeping prisoners in their cells has emerged as a way to stop viral spread. Advocates worry that will increase the use of solitary confinement.

There are more statements being put out by organizations than we can count these days. The calls for reform are apprecia...
06/04/2020

There are more statements being put out by organizations than we can count these days. The calls for reform are appreciated and appropriate, but please see this statement James Bell of the W. Haywood Burns Institute if you are interested in using this current moment as an opportunity for something transformative.

"Therefore, nothing will change until we give the law enforcement industry a new mission. We need to imagine how to reduce their footprint while providing for well-being in our communities."

https://www.burnsinstitute.org/blog/yes-america-this-is-the-policing-you-built-now-what/

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Registration Open -- 1st Global Youth Justice Conference on Youth/Teen/Student/Peer Court and Peer Jury Diversion Programs this December 3-5, 2019 in Las Vegas, USA @
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