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

CIEL Logo

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!

Sizzlin’ Hot Fall Internships

Indian Law Resource Center in DC Seeking Fall Legal Interns

ILRCThe Washington, DC Office of the Indian Law Resource Center is seeking legal interns for the fall of 2013. Knowledge of international law and/or federal Indian law in the U.S. is preferred but not required. Spanish language skills are also preferred but not required. Internships are available for all levels of experience, from law students to practicing professionals. Please note that all internships are unpaid. We are flexible in terms of interns’ time commitment.

Interns will assist staff with one or more legal projects, such as these current projects: multilateral development banks; protecting indigenous rights in climate policies; draft American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; strengthening indigenous rights in the Inter-American human rights system; protecting the Maya Q’eqchi’ communities of El Estor, their resources, and the local environment; handbook for conservationists: working to close the knowledge gap;  law reform: working to change federal law concerning Indian and Alaska Native nations.

Interns may assist with research and writing and provide support for briefings and events.  Application deadline: July 1, 2013. For complete description and application instructions please click here.

Fall Legal Intern Sought to Work on UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

ccw-logo_color-2_medGrounded in rigorous research and best  practice, the Changing Children’s Worlds Foundation offers meaningful, measurable and sustainable strategies and programs for those who care about children and youth,  and for young people themselves.  CCWF provides youth, adult caregivers and community and professional leaders the information, connections and tools they need to succeed.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) has been ratified (signed) by every country in the world, except the United States and Somalia. Learn more about the campaign for US ratification, about the international standards of child protection and children’s rights established in the UNCRC and about international best practice in a variety of fields. This internship would help the applicant gain a broader understanding of international standards and individual nation compliance to the UNCRC. If your interest lies in international law, children’s rights or best practice standards, this internship provides a great opportunity to study all three. Applications accepted on a rolling basis. For complete description and application instructions please click here.

Prisoners’ Rights Project Internship in Cameroon

GCIOne of the biggest human rights issues facing Cameroon today is prisoners’ rights. Accused and convicted inmates of the country’s prisons and police/gendarmerie cells suffer from the numerous life-threatening conditions of these facilities, including insufficient food provisions, inadequate medical attention, overcrowding, and violent and degrading treatment at the hands of guards, police, and other staff members. These conditions are compounded by the degeneration of criminal procedure standards: arbitrary bail, judicial inefficiency, and even administrative errors resulting in lost paperwork and forgotten prisoners.

Resolving these issues has been a priority for the Global Conscience Initiative since the beginning of the organization, resulting in the formation of the Prisoners’ Rights Project (PRP) in 2008. The PRP aimed to improve prison conditions and protect inmates’ rights by collecting data on incarcerated persons, organizing education and training sessions for prison workers, mobilising and coordinating civil society to support prison communities, and providing legal assistance and representation to indigent detainees and prisoners.

For a complete description and applications instructions please click here.

Center for International Environmental Law Seeking Fall Legal Interns

CIELThe Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) is a non-profit, public interest environmental group committed to strengthening and using international law & institutions in order to protect the environment, promote human health, and ensure a just and sustainable society. We also assist non-governmental organizations and governments in developing countries who are working to strengthen their systems of environmental law. CIEL offers exceptional opportunities for aspiring lawyers who wish to become involved with cutting-edge international environmental law.

Our internship program is a critically important component of the work of our organization. Many of our program areas explore innovative developments in international environmental law, so there is a great need for thoughtful and creative research and analysis. The fellowship program provides CIEL with a vitally important base of assistance in our work. Responsibilities include: researching and writing about areas of international law and policy; assisting with policy analysis and advocacy; attending meetings and conferences; assisting with the production of CIEL publications; and otherwise working closely with CIEL staff on various projects.

As such, we are currently searching for law students or graduates for our Fall 2013 session (roughly September through December, with a minimum commitment period of ten weeks). The position can be either full or part-time.

To apply for internships or fellowships in Washington, D.C., please send a cover letter, resume, and short writing sample to info@ciel.org. Please sure to specify that you are applying for our Fall 2013 session (we can also consider applicants for Spring 2014).

Move to Amend Seeks Fall or Spring Legal Research Intern

santa-clara

Move to Amend is the the national campaign to Abolish Corporate Personhood and Defend Democracy. We are mobilizing a movement to amend the US Constitution to establish that corporations are not people and that financial contributions to political campaigns are not free speech.

Interns work out of the office of Democracy Unlimited in Eureka, CA – one of our Move to Amend founding organizations OR telecommute from your home/school.

Move to Amend is seeking a Legal Intern to assist our Law & Research Team, which collaborates with and provides legal support for Move to Amend affiliate groups across the country. Please note that this is a unique opportunity that blends a legal practice with grassroots organizing for systemic change. We are committed to changing existing “settled law” as it relates to the role and functions of corporations in US society. For more about the internship click here.