Documents and pleadings which may be helpful to attorneys litigating or considering the litigation of disability law related cases are available by following the links below.
January 2012: New Study Urges Closure of Alabama's Juvenile Girls Facilities
In a just-released report, two national juvenile justice experts concluded that delinquent girls committed to facilities run by the Department of Youth Services (DYS) would fare better in their own communities where they could receive more targeted and individualized rehabilitative services. The study reveals that these girls are low-risk, high-needs youth who have endured multiple traumas in their lives – including sexual and/or physical abuse, family disruptions, domestic violence, and school failure. Many of the girls studied by the experts had experienced repeated psychiatric hospitalizations. The study recommends closing two DYS facilities and creating alternative programs that emphasize trauma-informed systems of care that bring together families and community supports while, at the same time, keeping communities safe. The report was underwritten with support by ADAP, the Center for Public Representation (www.centerforpublicrep.org) and the Southern Poverty Law Center ( www.splcenter.org) under a generous grant from the Public Welfare Foundation, an organization dedicated to ensuring fundamental rights and opportunities for people in need (www.publicwelfare.org).
Massachusetts Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth. Massachusetts in one of only a handful of places in the world that permit mandatory life without parole (LWOP) to be imposed on teens as young as 14. CPR has joined a broad coalition of advocates to urge the Legislature to amend the law to allow teens who are sentenced to LWOP for offenses they committed before they were 18 to seek parole after they have served at least 15 years of their sentence; the bill also would eliminate LWOP sentences for juveniles in the future. For more information go to the MCFSY web site. Added May 2010.
CPR, Disability Rights Texas, Texas Appleseed and the National Center for Youth Law have aksed the United States Department of Justice to investigate conditions of confinement for youth with disabilities in TYC correctional facilities and to determine whether youth with disabilities ar being needlessly confined in secure facilities:
An overview of issues in the administration of psychiatric medications to children and adolescents:
Emily J Settlement Agreement
The plaintiff class, represented by the Center for Children's Advocacy (CCA) at the University of Connecticut Law School and CPR, entered into a Settlement Agreement with the state of Connecticut to establish community based programs to divert youth with mental illness and serious emotional difficulties from detention and long term residential placement (2005). The complaint and other information about the case can be found at CCA's web site, http://www.kidscounsel.org/.
Kenniston v. Tewksbury
CPR, the Committee for Public Counsel Services and the Children's Law Center have challenged the constitutionality of a Massachusetts statute that allows the Department of Youth Services, with court review, to extend commitments of some youth from their 18th to their 21st birthdays. The case was filed directly in the state's Supreme Judicial Court. A single justice of the reported questions to the full bench. A copy of the petitioners' brief (with some material redacted) is attached.
The Massachusetts (SJC) has held that a state law allowing extension of commitments to DYS after the 18th birthday is unconstitutional. The opinion appears below.
The documents contained on this page and within this web site do not constitute legal advice. Anyone engaged in legal action should consult with an attorney. Attorneys should make their own independent judgments. Local laws vary and the law may have changed since these documents were written. Litigants should fully research any claims or defenses before making them.