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Our Voices

COVID-19: Another Reason to End Youth Incarceration

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has added a new and urgent justification for ending the harmful, ineffective and expensive practice of locking up youth who are in conflict with the law. Youth in custodial settings are at great risk of exposure to a highly contagious virus. Probation personnel, facility staff, attorneys, youth and others enter and leave these facilities every day, increasing the risk of contagion. Youth detention centers and prisons are notoriously unsanitary environments,...


Gender Affirming Services for all California Foster Children

NCLR is proud to collaborate with Family Builders and the Center for the Study of Social Policy on getR.E.A.L. California–an initiative aimed at promoting the healthy sexual and identity development of all children involved with the California child welfare system. The initiative partners have produced a new issue brief aimed at helping child welfare professionals support and affirm transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) children in foster care. As numerous other state legislatures...


Embracing the Well-Being of Transgender Foster Youth

Earlier this month, California became the first state in the nation to enact legislation giving transgender children and youth in foster care the right to live in settings that reflect and respect their gender identity. Senate Bill 731 is a clear articulation of the state’s explicit commitment to treat all foster youth equally and to prohibit identity-based discrimination in foster care settings. The legislation erases any remaining confusion or uncertainty: child welfare workers who...


New Guide Promotes the Safety and Well-Being of LGBTQ Youth in the Justice System

NCLR has written a new practice guide for the Annie E. Casey Foundation entitled “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Youth in the Juvenile Justice System,” which provides juvenile justice agencies the tools they need to ensure the safety and well-being of LGBTQ youth in their care. This groundbreaking publication documents the vulnerability of LGBTQ youth in our communities and in juvenile justice systems. Social stigma, family rejection, and discrimination subject LGBTQ youth to increased...


The Case of Jane Doe: How Public Systems Fail Our Most Vulnerable Youth

The plight of Jane Doe, a 16-year-old transgender girl in the custody of Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families (DCF), should provoke national outrage. Jane’s story represents one of the most devastating examples of how public systems fail the most vulnerable youth in their care and custody. Removed from her family at the tender age of five, Jane has endured unrelenting brutality and abuse while in the custody of the system charged with protecting her.  Despite the fact that Jane...


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