ABA Adopts Policy to Limit Collateral Consequences for Juvenile Offenders
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 8, 2010 — The American Bar Association recently passed a resolution urging federal, state, territorial and local governments to limit the collateral consequences imposed on citizens as a result of contact with the juvenile justice system.
Americans across the country find themselves being denied opportunities to progress in society after they have been involved with the juvenile justice system. The ABA has singled out employment and education opportunities as two areas that have the greatest impact relative to integrating and succeeding in society. The policy, adopted at the association’s Midyear Meeting in Orlando, Fla., in February, urges lawmakers to prevent schools and employers from denying opportunities based solely on a mistake that was made as a juvenile.
Chair of the ABA’s Juvenile Justice Committee, Lawrence Wojcik, commented on the resolution stating, “Court-involved children face numerous obstacles imposed by law that adversely impact their attempts to successfully return to their communities. In adopting this policy, the ABA is urging the business, education and government sectors to refrain from placing additional barriers that are not mandated by law in the path of these children. The policy embraces the idea that the best way to help such children is to encourage their return to the community by offering them every opportunity to succeed.”
The policy is available on the ABA’s Criminal Justice Web site at: http://new.abanet.org/sections/criminaljustice/Pages/default.aspx.
With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.
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