Committees, Programs & Sections

Resources

What Juvenile Defenders Should Know about the DSM-5.

Click here to find a new resource brief entitled, What Juvenile Defenders Should Know about the DSM-5. This brief is intended to support juvenile defense advocacy by providing an overview of some of the most recent revisions in the latest version of the DSM (a classification manual for mental health professionals with itemized criteria for diagnosing disorders), as well as recommendations and implications for juvenile defense practice.

Juvenile defenders who are knowledgeable about the DSM are better prepared to advocate for and against diagnoses of their young clients. Defenders further enhance their advocacy when they insist that evaluators specifically identify the symptoms behind youth's behaviors, as well as the services and supports necessary to address those symptoms in school, at home, in secure placement, and in the community. The DSM has always been relevant to juvenile defenders to the extent that DSM diagnoses drive decisions in juvenile court, yet juvenile defenders may be unfamiliar with the latest revisions to diagnoses and diagnostic criteria and how to manage the ways they are used in the court context.

The Eighth Amendment Evolves: Defining Cruel and Unusual Punishment through the Lens of Childhood and Adolescence

Marsha Levick, , Jessica Feierman, , Sharon M. Kelley, & Naomi E. Goldstein, The Eighth Amendment Evolves: Defining Cruel and Unusual Punishment through the Lens of Childhood and Adolescence, 15 U. Pa. J.L. & Soc. Change 285 (2012).
Available at: http://scholarship.law.upenn.edu/jlasc/vol15/iss3/1

DOJ/DOE Joint Letter on Nondiscriminatory Administration of School Discipline

National Academy of Sciences publication on Juvenile Justice Reform - Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach

National Juvenile Justice Network Newsletter - Nov. 2012

Georgia's Child-Serving Agencies 2012 Guide

Interstate Compact for Juveniles (ICJ) Rules On-Demand

The DHS On-line Directives Information System (ODIS)

OJJDP Releases Fact Sheets on Delinquency Cases in Juvenile and Criminal Courts

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention has released three fact sheets on delinquency cases in juvenile and criminal courts:

  • Delinquency Cases in Juvenile Court, 2009 presents statistics on delinquency cases that U.S. courts with juvenile jurisdiction processed for public order, person, and property offenses and drug law violations between 1985 and 2009.

Resources:

These fact sheets are derived from the National Center for Juvenile Justice report, Juvenile Court Statistics 2009.

See OJJDP’s Statistical Briefing Book for additional information on juvenile courts case processing. 

Juvenile Transfer Law Resources

Roper v. Simmons

Graham v. Florida

JDB v. North Carolina

Miller v. Alabama

Marsha Levick, et al., “Eighth Amendment Evolves: Defining Cruel and Unusual Punishment through the Lens of Childhood and Adolescence”, 15 U. Pa. J. L. & Soc. Change, 285 (2012)

Steinberg, Laurence; Scott, Elizabeth S., “Less Guilty by Reason of Adolescence: Developmental Immaturity, Diminished Responsibility, and the Juvenile Death Penalty,” American Psychologist, Vol. 58(12), Dec 2003, 1009-1018.
Abstract:  The authors use a developmental perspective to examine questions about the criminal culpability of juveniles and the juvenile death penalty. Under principles of criminal law, culpability is mitigated when the actor's decision-making capacity is diminished, when the criminal act was coerced, or when the act was out of character. The authors argue that juveniles should not be held to the same standards of criminal responsibility as adults, because adolescents' decision-making capacity is diminished, they are less able to resist coercive influence, and their character is still undergoing change. The uniqueness of immaturity as a mitigating condition argues for a commitment to a legal environment under which most youths are dealt with in a separate justice system and none are eligible for capital punishment. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

The Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth is the national campaign working to end the practice of sentencing children to life in prison without the possibility of parole.