Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Play

Postal unions fight for higher standards of service, a proposed high-speed rail line could make a N.Y.-D.C. trip just an hour, and a study finds oilfield gas flares are more harmful than had been thought.

Play

The FBI says China and Russia are sowing election integrity disinformation, President Biden commits $60 million to help Puerto Rico, and New York City's mayor is bewildered by the silence over the migrant crisis.

Play

Baseball is America's pastime, and more international players are taking the stage, rural communities can get help applying for federal funds through the CHIPS and Science Act, and a Texas university is helping more Black and Latina women pursue careers in agriculture.

Report: For Kids, Virtual Court Hearings Put Legal Rights at Risk

Play

Friday, May 7, 2021   

CHICAGO -- As courts across the country consider whether to continue holding hearings remotely post-pandemic, juvenile-justice advocates are asking them to weigh the risks to due-process rights for young people.

Illinois has no minimum age for prosecuting children, so kids age 10 or younger are having their court hearings online.

Dr. Amanda Klonsky, lecturer at University of Chicago School of Social Work, Policy and Practice, who has worked as an educator in jails and prisons, said establishing trust with kids is critical.

Many in the juvenile-justice system are dealing with trauma, or in need of behavioral or developmental support.

"So, as an educator, I'm extremely concerned about the ways that this move toward expansion of virtual legal services and hearings will exacerbate the inequalities and the crisis that we were already in," Klonsky explained.

A new report from the National Juvenile Defender Center showed defense attorneys are finding it difficult to communicate effectively and confidentially with their young clients, and to bridge the digital divide, since some kids and families don't have access to high-speed broadband or other tools required for online communication.

Many defenders surveyed said in online client visits, they weren't sure who else was in the room, off-camera. It might be a correctional officer supervising a child using a facility's technology, or a parent or guardian, limiting their ability to speak privately.

Mary Ann Scali, executive director of the Center, said it's crucial to mitigate these issues now, and to resume in-person meetings with lawyers and court hearings beyond the pandemic.

"We want to be sure that, to the extent we have to continue to use these technologies, that they're private and confidential, that young people get to take breaks," Scali urged. "How hard is it for a young person to engage with a screen and really grasp the life consequences of these conversations that we're having, about their lives?"

The report also emphasized the pandemic's magnification of racial disparities in the juvenile system. It called on courts to recognize implicit bias in decisions to detain young people of color, and make efforts to keep children and teens out of custody and at home with their families.


get more stories like this via email
The Environmental Defense Fund estimates methane emissions account for at least 25% of global warming. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

A new study found gas flaring in oil-producing states like North Dakota is not as effective in limiting harmful emissions when compared to long-standi…


Social Issues

Community and technical college faculty members are preparing for the legislative session in Olympia, and among the top priorities for the American …

Social Issues

The Holyoke area is home to many Puerto Rican families who say they will do what they can to help people there as they recover from the latest hurrica…


In recent years, a range of studies and reports show Minnesota has some of the worst racial disparities in the nation, including in the areas of homeownership and education. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

On the heels of a regional conference, multiple groups are working on new solutions for reducing the poverty gap in Minnesota. Nonprofits, …

Social Issues

The pandemic took a toll on the nursing profession, resulting in shortages across the nation and especially Texas, ranked the second-hardest-hit …

Social Issues

Advocates for a man wrongfully imprisoned for decades due to misconduct by a Durham Police detective and released in 2016, want the city to honor a …

Social Issues

Groups fighting hunger in California say untold suffering could be avoided if the policies championed at the latest White House conference are put int…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021