Juvenile Justice

NCYL believes that children are different from adults and should be treated appropriately for their age, level of development, and ability to change. We advocate for community based services as an alternative to incarceration, and work to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities within the juvenile justice system.

Current Cases

Alicia B. V. Dannel Malloy

December 16, 2015
This Superior Court lawsuit contends that the sub-standard alternative education offered to expelled children, who are disproportionately students of color, violates equal protection guarantees of both the state and U.S. Constitutions.…

Texas Education Agency Administrative Complaint

May 27, 2015
This complaint concerns the unlawful practice of thirteen Texas school districts forcing their most vulnerable students out of school through court procedures for truancy. The complainants are students with disabilities who were, or should have been identified as, eligible for special education services. Rather than…

Antioch Unified School District Settlement

March 27, 2015
This agreement addresses the District’s failure to identify, evaluate and provide special education services and supports to African American students with disabilities, and the exclusion of African American students through excessive suspension and expulsion, and other forms of exclusionary discipline that unnecessarily deny students access

Loleta Schools Civil Rights Complaint

February 11, 2015
This civil rights complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Education on December 18, 2013 alleges continuing racial discrimination by employees the Loleta Union School District including disparate treatment and harassment of Native American Students. NCYL filed the case with the ACLU of Northern California…

Dallas County Truancy Court

January 2, 2015
This civil rights complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Justice on June 12, 2013, concerns a particularly harmful aspect of the school-to-prison pipeline in Texas – the use of criminal courts to prosecute youth for truancy, and the way that school district’s violations of…

Bryan Independent School District

November 26, 2014
Bryan Independent School District’s use of school resource officers to issue criminal sanctions for a range of minor student misbehavior unlawfully impacts African-American students, who are “cited” at a rate four times that of other students, according to a complaint filed by attorneys with Texas…

Jessica K. v. Eureka City School District

November 14, 2014
This federal civil rights lawsuit charges top officials in the Eureka City Schools District with allowing pervasive racial and sexual harassment to persist unchallenged in the city’s schools.  NCYL filed this lawsuit with the ACLU of Northern California.…

State of Illinois v. Davis

November 14, 2014
This case involves Adolfo Davis, a minor, who was given a sentence of life without the possibility of parole for his involvement as a look-out in a home invasion robbery that resulted in the death of two victims at the hands of Davis’ two co-defendants.…

All of Us or None v. Bowen

November 14, 2014
This case challenges the California Secretary of State’s recent interpretation of state laws regarding voting rights for those convicted of felonies. In 1974, the voters amended the California Constitution to narrow its felony disenfranchisement provisions. In December 2011, Secretary of State Debra Bowen issued a…

In re Sara Kruzan

November 14, 2014
Sara Kruzan was sentenced to life without possibility of parole for a shooting she committed in 1994 when she was 16 years old. The man she shot was her 36 year-old pimp who sexually abused her since she was 11 and trafficked her since age…

Policy Work

California – Proposition 57 - THE PUBLIC SAFETY AND REHABILITATION ACT OF 2016

October 10, 2016
Prop 57 is a 2016 California ballot measure that will enhance public safety and help California replace its costly over reliance on bloated prisons with smart justice strategies focused on rehabilitation. Proposition 57 will: End Prosecutors’ ability to charge youth as adults without a transfer…

School-to-Prison Pipeline

February 12, 2015
Across the nation, student discipline is increasingly moving from the schoolhouse to the courthouse The “school-to-prison pipeline” is a phenomenon documented in a growing body of state and national research.

Life Without Parole

February 11, 2015
NCYL is working nationally and in California to ban juvenile life without parole. The United States remains the only country to sentence children to life in prison without parole. Approximately 2,500 youths are serving this sentence, some of them for non-homicide offenses.

Latest News

Who decides how minors are tried? Prop. 57 would change the answer - CalMatters

November 2, 2016
The scene that greeted Raymond Aguilar in his old Stockton neighborhood on his release from prison four months ago was too familiar: boarded-up windows, liquor stores, prostitutes and gang members walking the streets. Twenty-five years had passed since his conviction for second-degree murder, and nothing