Juvenile Justice News, Leadership Training & Cutting Edge Research Guides Now Available

Lives of Thousands of Washington Youth to  Change Overnight this Thursday

CLSJune 10, 2014–Columbia Legal Services

Law that seals most juvenile records goes into effect, offering path for successful reintegration

The Youth Opportunities Act (HB 1651) goes into effect on Thursday, June 12, opening up life-changing opportunities for young adults who have too often had to put their dreams on hold due to past mistakes. The Act will result in an automatic sealing of juvenile offense records for as many as 15,000 young adults each year, allowing them to pursue opportunities in housing, education, and employment.

On April 2, 2014, Governor Jay Inslee signed the Act into law, after years of negotiations resulted in overwhelming, bipartisan support for the bill from the Washington State Legislature. Championed by Rep. Ruth Kagi (D-32), and negotiated by Sen. Jeannie Darneille (D-27) and Sen. Steve O’Ban (R-32), the bill received near unanimous support in the Legislature.

“A youthful mistake can create barriers for adults long after they’ve paid their debts and prevent them from fully contributing to their communities,” said Casey Trupin, Attorney with the Children & Youth project at Columbia Legal Services (CLS). “The first day the Youth Opportunities Act goes into effect marks one of the biggest juvenile justice reforms in decades and offers a path forward for young adults to pursue education, employment, and housing.”

For four years, CLS worked closely with partners such as Friends of Youth, Faith Action Network, YouthCare, the University of Washington Children and Youth Advocacy Clinic, and many other strong advocates to ensure this bill passed. The compromise bill ultimately drew support from the Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington, who had opposed previous versions, and was supported by the superior and juvenile court judges’ associations.

The Youth Opportunities Act strikes a balance between rehabilitation and public safety by sealing the great majority of juvenile court records after completion of the sentence and payment of fines and fees, with some exceptions. Under the new law, courts would hold regular hearings to seal records of minors once they turn 18 years of age and have completed their sentence, unless the offense is one of the “most serious offenses,” sex offense, or felony drug offense or there is a compelling reason not to seal. Importantly, the courts will now immediately seal records upon acquittal or dismissal of charges.

Human Rights Institute at Columbia Law School Releases New Desk Manual on Challenging Juvenile Life Without Parole

columibia law schoolThe Human Rights Institute at Columbia Law School recently published Challenging Juvenile Life Without Parole: How Has Human Rights Made A Difference? a case study on how human rights frameworks and strategies advance domestic social justice advocacy work. The case study looks at efforts to end juvenile life without parole (JLWOP) and explores how advocates have used a wide range of human rights strategies to advance those efforts. The Institute hopes that this case study will be useful in your work and in conversations with colleagues and funders about how human rights can make an impact.

Looking forward, they are interested in exploring other issue areas that may serve as helpful case studies as well. If you have been working on domestic social justice issues where a range of human rights efforts have been useful, please do not hesitate to send them your suggestions.

 

Open Leadership Institute Announces 2015 Applications Now Open

Institute for Open LeadershipCreative Commons is developing an Institute for Open Leadership (IOL) to train new leaders in education, science, and public policy fields on the values and implementation of openness in licensing, policies, and practices. By training new leaders, connecting them to each other and helping them complete their first capstone open project in their institution, we will prepare them to guide emerging movements in open science, open education, open government, and open culture. These movements are using Creative Commons licenses to broaden public access to knowledge, data, culture, and research around the world, creating new opportunities for education, innovation, and creativity.

The first Institute for Open Leadership cohort will attend the institute during one of these two weeks (which week to be based on conference facility availability): 12-16 January or 19-23 January, 2015. The web site will be updated and applicants notified as soon as the week is selected. Applications are due June 30. For more info and application instruction click here.

Center for International Environmental  Law Launches New Research & Advocacy Tools

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When you work on international environmental law and policy issues as we do, it can be challenging to feel optimistic.  As the global community watches the UN climate discussions underway in Bonn, Germany, however, we are writing to share a couple pieces of hopeful news. First, CIEL has developed two tools to enable all of us to push for stronger international policies that protect forests and related rights. Last February, we announced the launch of ForestDefender, an interactive online legal database that is easily accessible to and usable by lawyers and those familiar with legal systems. As a complementary tool, last week we published My Guide,” A Community Resource Guide to REDD+ Rights, available in both English and Spanish. My Guide simplifies key human rights relevant to REDD+ that are found in the international treaties, declarations, and decisions included in ForestDefender. It also suggests options for what to do if these rights are violated. These two complementary tools are geared towards safeguarding forests and sustainable livelihoods. They were developed to enable advocates to evaluate if and ensure that the required REDD+ safeguards and rights protections are enforced. They can also be used for other forest governance and climate initiatives. We created these tools in response to specific requests from partners, local community members, indigenous peoples, and supporters like you. They translate relevant international law to the national level and empower lawyers, activists, and community leaders to defend their rights and their forests. Please use ForestDefender and My Guide and share them with others!

Looking for a Career in Public Service or Simply More Direct Client Work? Check Out These Announcements

Are You Primarily Interested in a Career in Public Service Law? Has it Been a While Since you Last Met with Your Public Service Career Coach?

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Whether you’ve got summer plans lined up or not, now’s a great time to reconnect with your public service career coach. We can help you strategize and discuss internships, externships, fellowships, pro bono, clinics, post grad planning and beyond, not to mention interview and networking tips. Not sure who you should be meeting with? 1Ls and 2Ls should contact Assistant Director Aline Carton-Listfjeld or schedule directly in Symplicity. 3Ls should contact Assistant Dean Michele Storms.

Youth Opportunities Act Opens Doors to Thousands of Young Adults across Washington State

By Columbia Legal Services

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Photo courtesy of Abdullah üsame Deniz and StockVault.

OLYMPIA – Governor Jay Inslee plans to sign the Youth Opportunities Act (HB 1651) into law tomorrow, after years of negotiations resulted in overwhelming, bipartisan support for the bill from the Washington State Legislature. The Act will result in the sealing of 6,000-10,000 young adults’ juvenile offense records each year, allowing them to receive greater opportunities in housing, education, and employment. Championed by Rep. Ruth Kagi (D-32), and negotiated by Sen. Jeannie Darneille (D-27) and Sen. Steve O’Ban (R-32), the bill received near unanimous support in the Legislature.

“The Youth Opportunities Act eliminates a major barrier for many rehabilitated youth who can now contribute fully to their communities,” said Casey Trupin, Attorney with the Children & Youth project at Columbia Legal Services (CLS). “By supporting one of the biggest juvenile justice reforms in decades, the Legislature has offered a path for young adults to pursue education, employment, and housing.” For four years, CLS has worked closely with partners such as Friends of YouthFaith Action NetworkMockingbird SocietyChildren’s Alliance, and many other strong advocates to ensure this bill passed.

Continue reading here.

Looking for a Chance to Work with Clients?  The Moderate Means Program is Recruiting Interns for Spring and Summer Quarters, Applications Due 4/11

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Photo courtesy of StockVault.

The Statewide Moderate Means Program (MMP) is a joint venture between the Washington State Bar Association and the Washington State law schools. The goal of the program is to increase access to civil legal services by people of moderate means who cannot afford an attorney but make too much money to qualify for traditional legal aid services. The program is focused on the areas of Family, Housing and Consumer law.

Law students serving as MMP volunteer interns will interview potential clients by telephone to collect information and evaluate their cases. Qualifying cases will be referred by the MMP interns to participating attorneys who have agreed to represent Moderate Means Program clients for a reduced fee. MMP interns will be expected to commit to a minimum of five hours a week for the duration of spring quarter and this summer (one hour is a weekly staff meeting).

Click here for more information.

America’s Growing Inequality: The Impact of Poverty and Race Publication Explores Poverty & Race

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America’s Growing Inequality: The Impact of Poverty and Race, edited by Chester Hartman is now available in hardcover – includes the best articles and essays from Poverty & Race; with a foreword by Congressman Luis Gutierrez. The book is a compilation of the best and still-most-relevant articles published in Poverty & Race, the bimonthly of The Poverty & Race Research Action Council from 2006 to the present. Authors are some of the leading figures in a range of activities around these themes. It is the fourth such book PRRAC has published over the years, each with a high-visibility foreword writer: Rep. John Lewis, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. Bill Bradley, Julian Bond in previous books, Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Chicago for this book. The
chapters are organized into four sections: Race & Poverty: The Structural Underpinnings; Deconstructing Poverty and Racial Inequities; Re(emerging) Issues; Civil Rights History.

Order here at the PRRAC discounted rate; see the Table of Contents here.

Missed the Recent SJT on Public Interest Post Grad Fellowships? Don’t Fret. We’ve got all of the info right here!

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Download our presentation slides here and watch the podcast here. You’ll find all of the essentials on the nuts and bolts of organizational and project based public interest post grad fellowships, how to find them and some strategies for successful applications.

Kirwan Institute Releases Second State of the Science: Implicit Bias Review 2014

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With the results in the Zimmerman and Dunn trials, introducing people to Implicit Bias research seems more important than ever. The Kirwan Institute is excited to be able to continue to support the field with this new edition of State of the Science: Implicit Bias Review. Chapter 1 serves as a primer to introduce the topic, capturing some of the key ideas that were discussed at length in the 2013 edition. The next two chapters focus on the newest scholarly literature from 2013 (Chapter 2 reviews many of these recent publications, and Chapter 3 takes a step back to reflect on some of the larger trends occurring in the field). Chapters 4 and 5 delve into the concept of implicit racial bias as it operates within particular domains, specifically employment and housing (building on the sectors discussed in last year’s edition: Education, Health and Criminal Justice). The publication closes with materials in the appendices that we thought might be useful to those who are seeking to educate others regarding implicit racial bias, including “A Conversation with an Implicit Bias Skeptic.”

Click here to download the report.

Hunger Strikers Released from Solitary Confinement at the Northwest Detention Center

Activists rally outside the ICE Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington on March 11, 2014

Photo of activists rallying outside the ICE Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington on March 11, 2014, courtesy of Reuters and Jason Redmond.

By Columbia Legal Services & American Civil Liberties Union

Federal immigration authorities have released hunger strikers from solitary confinement at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington. The action came after the ACLU of Washington (ACLU-WA) and Columbia Legal Services (CLS) filed a lawsuit seeking a court order to prohibit U.S. Immigration and Enforcement (ICE) from retaliating against detainees who engage in First Amendment-protected activities by placing them in solitary confinement.

“Our clients are very grateful to be out of solitary confinement after 6 days in it. This is a victory for free speech and fair treatment,” said Melissa Lee, Attorney and Institutions Project Coordinator with CLS.

“We’re very pleased that ICE has stopped retaliating against detainees engaged in peaceful protest. Punishing hunger strikers by putting them in isolation cells was an unlawful attempt to chill free speech rights” said ACLU-WA Legal Director Sarah Dunne.

Continue reading here.

Mediation Training from a Social Justice Perspective Conducted by the Social Justice Mediation Institute, May 19-23

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Hosted by the City of Seattle Alternative Dispute Resolution Program.

$450 if registration completed before April 15.  $500 after April 15.  Some fee reductions available.

35.0 CLEs (5.0 ethics) approved.  (There will be a charge of $25 for members of the Washington State Bar Association asking for CLEs.)

For application and more information, please send an e-mail to Vivien.sharples@seattle.gov

This institute prepares trainees to mediate while applying a social justice lens to their own techniques.  We explore how mediation can routinely replicate inequalities despite our intensions to the contrary.  Trainees gain strategies to address these challenges while still facilitating a process with self-determination about the outcome for the disputing parties.   Concepts from narrative theory are applied to equip mediators with additional tools for effectively understanding the dispute and building agreements.

For more information about the training, click here.