Juvenile Offenders

A Qualitative Study of Youth and the Juvenile Justice System: A 100 Percent Pittsburgh Pilot Project / Pittsburgh Foundation

Youth need more of a say in shaping the juvenile justice system they're a part of, according to a report released Monday by the Pittsburgh Foundation.

Duquesne School of Law / Facebook

Starting in November, Duquesne University law students will travel to eight of Pittsburgh’s public housing complexes to help residents expunge juvenile convictions that put them at risk of eviction.  

In Pennsylvania, a person’s entire juvenile record becomes public if they are convicted of a felony as a minor – between the ages of 14 and 18. Duquesne School of Law assistant professor Tiffany Sizemore-Thompson said that is the most common reason a record becomes public. And once it’s open, every part of the record is public.

David Amsler / Flickr

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers is backing new proposals to give a person’s low-level criminal offenses a limited shelf life in Pennsylvania.

Plans in the House and Senate would automatically seal low-level criminal records in Pennsylvania after a person has had no criminal activity for five to 10 years. The legislation builds on a plan enacted into law this year to let people with minor offenses ask a judge to seal their criminal records.

Canadian2006 / Wikimedia Commons

An adult homicide charge has been filed against a 14-year-old Mount Pleasant boy after he allegedly shot and killed his 13-year-old friend while playing with a handgun in a neighbor’s house.

A Westmoreland County judge will now have to decide whether to decertify the case, which would send it to juvenile court for a maximum possible sentence of seven years, when the boy would turn 21.

Monroeville attorney Patrick Thomassey, who has represented juveniles facing adult charges, said the limitations of juvenile courts' jurisdictions in Pennsylvania make that a tough choice.

Courtesy of George Junior Republic

A Mercer County school for delinquent youths will cut costs this summer by eliminating its 40-year-old equestrian program to add other activities.

The equestrian program at George Junior Republic School in Grove City consists of 16 horses and a staff with an operating cost of more than $250,000 annually. 

“A delinquent youth spends an average of nine months at the school,” said the school’s CEO, Rick Losasso. “When you think about the actual utilization and the costs associated to it, that goes into our decision-making process.”

supremecourt.gov

Pennsylvania has more people sentenced to life in prison as juveniles than any other state.

A decision by the U.S. Supreme Court Monday could reduce those sentences for 497 inmates in Pennsylvania. Those people were convicted as juveniles for homicides; which used to mean automatic life in prison without parole.

In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that was cruel and unusual punishment. Monday, the court said that ban is retroactive to cases decided before 2012.

State Won’t Disclose Names Of Doctors Prescribing In Youth Corrections

Nov 7, 2015
Illustration by Anita Dufalla / PublicSource

 

The state defied an Office of Open Records ruling and took the matter to court to conceal the names of doctors prescribing to kids confined in its six correctional facilities.

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services insisted the physicians who care for and prescribe to the state’s most chronic or violent youth offenders would be endangered if their names were made public.

PublicSource requested the names of the doctors with whom the state contracts to determine their qualifications, disciplinary history and if they’re taking payments from drug companies.