Vol. 11, No. 1, September 2008

Juvenile Law

[Updated 7/09/12]


Juvenile law may be divided into two subtopics: "children in the criminal justice system" and "child protection." "Children in the criminal justice system" is concerned with protecting the rights of children as they go through the criminal justice system. "Child protection" deals with the rights of children in several areas, including divorce, adoption, and child welfare. To save the researcher time, this CyberCite is divided into these two subtopics.

Children in the Criminal Justice System

Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

The Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ) was established to promote balanced and humane criminal justice policies that reduce incarceration and promote long-term public safety. CJCJ's mission is pursued through the development of programs, technical support, research, and education. Links to government and non-government websites, statistical and public policy research, and juvenile justice resources are provided.

Citizens for Juvenile Justice

Citizens for Juvenile Justice (CJJ) is an independent, non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to improve the juvenile justice system in Massachusetts. The CJJ conducts research and educates the public on juvenile justice matters. While there are links to several resources, two may be of particular interest. The "CfJJ Fact Sheets" link provides access to fact sheets and reports on various subtopics. The "JJ in the News" link gives a listing of relevant news stories arranged by topic and date.

Juvenile Law Center

The Juvenile Law Center (JLC) was founded in 1975 as a multi-issue public interest law firm for children in the United States. The JLC works to protect and promote children's rights and interests, both within the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. Links to current news stories and case law are provided. The JLC also provides links to reference guides on topics that generate the most interest.

Massachusetts Law About Juvenile Justice

This web page is part of the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries' "Law About" reference series. There are links to web resources on various topics, such as expunging juvenile probation records, and what happens when a juvenile "pleads out." Attorneys will find the links to Juvenile Court Rules for the Care and Protection of Children and Juvenile Court Forms to be particularly helpful.

U.S. Department of Justice: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) is a division of the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. OJJDP's mission is to prevent delinquency, strengthen the juvenile justice system, and protect children. The Statistics link provides access to data dealing with different aspects of juvenile law. Links to programs, publications, and press releases are arranged by subject on the Topics page.

Wex: Juvenile Justice

Wex is produced by the Legal Information Institute (LII) in conjunction with Cornell Law School. Wex provides information on many legal topics; this page focuses on juvenile law. There are excellent links to relevant federal and state statutory materials, judicial decisions, and key internet resources.

Child Protection

ABA Center on Children and the Law

Founded in 1978 by the American Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division, the ABA Center on Children and the Law (The Center) began work on a small scale, focusing strictly on child abuse and neglect. The Center has since grown into a full-service program dealing with a multitude of legal topics affecting children. Links are provided to ABA resolutions, arranged topically. Information concerning obtaining copies of reports accompanying these resolutions is provided. Clicking on the Practice Tools link provides access to information concerning Center projects, relevant federal and state laws, and other ABA websites.

Association of Family and Conciliation Courts

The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) is an interdisciplinary group of professionals dedicated to the resolution of family conflict. Members include judges, lawyers, social workers, and psychologists. Under the Resource Center tab, click on the Resources for Professionals link to access books, journals, and research reports. The Standards of Practice link offers topical model guidelines and standards for attorneys in the field.

Child Welfare.com

Child Welfare.com provides links to various resources concerning child welfare issues, such as adoption and abuse. There are also links to state-specific information. For example, clicking on Massachusetts will provide information concerning adoption, child welfare, welfare, child support, abuse, child care, health, juvenile, and private organizations.

Family Law in the Fifty States

The Family Law section of the American Bar Association (ABA) provides links to charts that summarize basic family law for all fifty states by topic. These topics include: Alimony/Spousal Support Factors, Custody Criteria, Child Support Guidelines, Grounds for Divorce and Residency Requirements, Property Division, Third-Party Visitation and Appointment Laws in Adoption, Guardianship, and Parentage Cases. Note: Charts are based on state reporters. Laws may have changed, or new cases interpreting statutes may have been decided.

Kids Counsel: Center for Children's Advocacy

The Center for Children's Advocacy is a non-profit organization located at the University of Connecticut School of Law. Its mission is to protect the rights of children dependent upon the judicial, child welfare, health and mental health, education, and juvenile justice systems. The site is divided into twelve topics: About Us, News and Press, Legislative News, Conferences and Training, Case Library, Pleadings Bank, Legal Resources, Useful Web Links, Teen Legal Rights, Placement Resources, Professional Resources, and Kids Counsel ListServ. Links to several of these topics, including Legal Resources and Pleadings Bank, may be of particular interest.

Massachusetts Citizens for Children

Massachusetts Citizens for Children (MCC) is a non-profit statewide organization whose goal is to improve the lives of the state's most at-risk children through advocacy.

Massachusetts - Department of Children and Families

The Department of Children and Families (DCF) is part of the Massachusetts Office of Health and Human Services. The website is divided into three main topics: Programs Services, Initiatives, and Key Resources. The Programs Services and Key Resources topics are further divided by subject matter. The types of information provided varies with each subject. Using the Domestic Violence and Children subtopic as an example, links are provided to various areas of concern, such as Using the Computers and Internet Safety and Warning Signs of potential abuse.

National Child Welfare Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues

A part of the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law, the National Child Welfare Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues offers training, consultation, and technical assistance for all legal aspects of the child welfare system. The Resources link provides access to pages on nine specific topics: Agencies, Child and Family Services Reviews, Court Improvement, Education, Interstate Placements, Kinship Care, Legal Representation, Legislation, and Technology. Using Kinship Care as an example, links are provided to the Grandfamilies State and Policy Resource Center, and the Kinship Care Legal Research Center, each providing information needed for dealing with relative placement in child welfare cases.

Uniform Matrimonial and Family Laws Locator

This page is also part of the Legal Information Institute (LII) website. Links are provided to Uniform Laws impacting family and juvenile law, such as the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act. Clicking a specific act provides its full text, as well as a list of states that have adopted it.


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