Created to address the growing need for skilled lawyers in juvenile justice litigation and research positions, the Youth Justice Clinic focuses on the “school-to-prison pipeline.” In partnership with the Legal Aid Society students work on school suspension cases related to clients charged with misdemeanors and felonies; They work with other organizations and government agencies on impact work to address problems associated with youth in the education and justice systems. Cardozo students  work in two-person teams under direct supervision, developing litigation, research, writing and advocacy skills. In addition, they work in case development, client interviewing, counseling, drafting complaints, motions, advocacy materials, as well as learning oral advocacy in a wide range of settings.

In 2014 students from the Youth Justice Clinic visited Riker's Island, the largest jail system in the country, to investigate conditions for juvenile prisoners. The results of their reserach were published in a study called Rethinking Rikers, which called for an end to the use of solitary confinement for prisoners under 18 years of age at Rikers. The students were asked to supply written testimony for a congressional hearing on solitary confinement.


Check out the Youth Justice Clinic's newly released report,

Rethinking Rikers: Moving from a Correctional to a Therapeutic Model for Youth  



Ellen Yaroshefsky - Director

Constitutional Underpinnings 

Foreword: The Past, Present, and Future of Juvenile Justice Reform in New York State - Stephen A. Newman, 56 N.Y.L. Sch. L. Rev. 1263 (2011/2012)
In Re Gault.rtf - Application of Gaults, Father and Mother of G.F. Gault, a Minor, 387 U.S. 1 (1967)
The Missed Opportunity in Gault by Emily Buss, 70 U. Chi. L. Rev. 39 (2003)
In re Winship.rtf - In the Matter of Samuel Winship, 397 U.S. 358 (1970)
Ivan V. v. City of New York.rtf - Ivan V. v. City of New York, 407 U.S. 203 (1972)
McKeiver v Pennsylvania.rtf - McKeiver v. Pennyslvania, 403 U.S. 528 (1970)

School Suspension Hearing Guides and Preparation Materials

Common Suspension Issues.pdf - Legal Aid Society
Direct Examination Info.pdf - Legal Aid Society
Cross Examination Info.pdf - Legal Aid Society
Closing Statements Info.pdf - Legal Aid Society

The Educational System and School Discipline 

Legal Advocacy and Education Reform: Litigating School Exclusion - Dean H. Rivkin, Tennessee Law Review (2008)
D.C. schools' rate of expulsion raises questions - Editorial Board, The Washington Post (January 18, 2013)
Perps or pupils? Safety policy creates friction in New York City schools - Daryl Khan, The Center for Public Integrity (May 19, 2014)
Real Discipline in School - Robert K. Ross and Kenneth H. Zimmerman, The New York Times (February 16, 2014)
We Can't Arrest Our Way to Safer Schools - Sheila A. Bedi, U.S. News (December 14, 2013)
B.H. on Behalf of her Minor Daught, D.B. - E.D.N.Y. (posted by NYCLU) (June 11, 2010)

Raise the Age

Raise the Age Fact Sheet.pdf - Raise the Age NY (July 2013)
Experience in Other States Shows That Raising the Age is Cost-Effective - Justice for Kids, Raise the Age NY (August 2011) 
Judging Children as Children: Reclaiming New York's Progressive Tradition - Michael A. Corriero, 56 N.Y.L. Sch. L. Rev. 1413 (2011/2012)
In Search of Meaningful Systemic Justice for Adolescents in New York - Honorable Jonathan Lippman, 35 Cardozo L. Rev. 1021 (2014) 
Youth in the Adult Criminal Justice System - Liz Ryan, 35 Cardozo L. Rev. 1167 (2014)
Raising the Age: Why 16- and 17- Year Olds Don't Belong in New York State's Adult Criminal Justice System - Children's Policy Agenda, Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy (September 2010) 
City Council Testimony, Submitted by the Legal Aid Society Juvenile Rights Practice & Criminal Practice.pdf - (November 1, 2011) Resolution supporting NYS Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman's call on the NYS Legislature to pass and the Governor to sign legislation raising the age of criminal responsibility for nonviolent offenses to 18 and permit the cases of 16 and 17 year-olds charged with such offenses to be adjudicated in the Family Court rather than the adult criminal justice system. 
Testimony of Steven Banks, Legal Aid Society - (December 6, 2013) Presented before the New York State Assembly Committee on Codes, Committee on the Judiciary, and Committee on Children and Families, and the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus, concerning the prosecution of 16 and 17 year olds in the adult criminal courts. 
The Two Sides of Raise the Age in New York - Roxanna Asgarian, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (July 7, 2014) 
Adolescent Development and the Regulation of Youth Crime.pdf - Elizabeth S. Scott and Laurence Steinberg, The Future of Children (Vol. 18, No. 2, Fall 2008) 

Adult Criminal Justice System 

Criminal Justice System Handbook - NYS Unified Court System 
Why Misdemeanors Aren't So Minor - Alexandra Natapoff, Slate (April 27, 2012)
Misdemeanor Arrests Higher Under De Blasio Than Bloomberg - Cristopher Robbins, Gothamist (July 31, 2014)

Adolescents and the Courts

Points of Entry for Youth to the Criminal.docx - Nancy Ginsburg, Legal Aid Society 
You're An Adult Now: Youth in Adult Criminal Justice Systems.pdf - U.S. Department of Justice National Institute of Corrections (December 2011)
J.D.B. v. N.C. - J.D.B. v. North Carolina, 131 S. Ct. 2394, 180 L. Ed. 2d 310 (U.S.N.C. 2011)

Riker's Island 

CRIPA Investigation of the NYC DOC Jails on Rikers Island.pdf - U.S. Attorney (SDNY) Report on Riker's Island (August 4, 2014)
Rough numbers open window into Rikers violence - Beth Morrissey and Maura R. O'Connor, The New York World (July 31, 2013)
Rikers: Where Mental Illness Meets Brutality in Jail - Michael Winerip and Michael Schwirtz, The New York Times (July 14, 2014)
New York City Reviewing Rikers Assaults on 129 Inmates - Michael Schwirtz and Michael Winerip, The New York Times (July 21, 2014)
U.S. Inquiry Finds a 'Culture of Violence' Against Teenage Inmates at Rikers Island - Benjamin Weiser and Michael Schwirtz, The New York Times (August 4, 2014)

Youth Corrections

The Cost of Incarcerating a Child for Life in the US (Infographic) - Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth (2013)
Mayor Bloomberg Proposes Overhaul of the NYS Juvenile Justice System - News from the Blue Room, (December 21, 2010) 
Juvenile Justice System Excludes Many Youthful Wrongdoers - Helen Zelon, City Limits (June 1, 2012)
Juvenile Justice Reform Falls Short of Goals - Helen Zelon, City Limits (March 12, 2014) 
Benefits of 'Close to Home' - Vincent N. Schiraldi and Ronald E. Richter, New York Law Journal (March 12, 2012) 
Justice Department Takes First Steps to Protect Kids from Rape - Amy Fettig, ACLU National Prison Project (May 30, 2012)
4 Youth Prisons in NY Used Excessive Force - Nicholas Confessore, The New York Times (August 24, 2009)
Youth in Confinement - Correctional Association of New York (May 1, 2011) 
Joint Motion and Settlement Agreement, U.S. v. N.Y. - Joint Motion and Settlement Agreement regarding the conditions of confinement at the Finger Lakes Residential Center, the Lansing Residential Center, the Tryon Residential Center, and the Tryon Girls Center (July 14, 2010)
Schall v. Martin.rtf - Schall v. Martin, 467 U.S. 253 (1984) 
New Jersey v. T.L.O..docx - New Jersey v. T.L.O., 469 U.S. 325 (1985)

Youth in Solitary Confinement 

Board of Corrections Votes Against Limiting Solitary Confinement in NYC Jails - Cat Guzman and Jean Casella, Solitary Watch (June 7, 2013) 
Unlock the Box: The Fight Against Solitary Confinement in NY - Jean Casella and James Ridgeway, The Nation (October 2, 2012) 
NY's Black Sites - Jean Casella and James Ridgeway, The Nation (July 11, 2012)
Voices From The Box: Solitary Confinement at Rikers Island - The Bronx Defenders (September 2014)
End solitary confinement for juveniles - Elizabeth Clarke and John Maki, Chicago Sun-Times (March 5, 2014) 

Special Education 

Procedural Safeguards for Students with Disabilities Subject to Discipline - Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, Parts 200 and 201 - (December 2010)
Advocates For Children's Guide to Special Education - Advocates for Children of New York (April 2013)
Complaint in E.B. v. NYC Department of Education - E.D.N.Y. (July 15, 2003) Class action on behalf of children with disabilities who were excluded from school without proper notice and due process. 
Litigation - J.G. v. Mills - class action on behalf of students age 7-21 who had a history of involvement with the juvenile or adult court systems and who were entitled to education in NYC schools. Plaintiffs claimed that after being released from court-ordered settings, they were denied re-enrollment in NYC schools. Also address class members who did not receive adequate educational services while in detention in NYC. 

New York Family Court 

A Separate System With Special Rules - Helen Zelon, City Limits (June 1, 2012) 
From Mom to Not in Seven Minutes: Inside Family Court - Helen Zelon, City Limits (June 1, 2012) - Chapter 1 of City Limits investigative report on the Family Court system in NYC
Blurred Lines Between Advocates and Adversaries - Helen Zelon, City Limits (June 1, 2012) - Chapter 3 of City Limits investigative report on the Family Court system in NYC
React, Reform, Repeat: A Round of Change Faces Family CourtHelen Zelon, City Limits (June 1, 2012) - Chapter 5 of City Limits investigative report on the Family Court system in NYC
Introductory Guide to the New York City Family Court - Committee on Family Law & Family Court, New York City Bar (February 2012)

Punishment and the 8th Amendment 

Children Are Different (Infographic) - Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth (September 2012)
Miller v. A.L..pdf - Miller v. Alabama, 132 S. Ct. 2455, 183 L. Ed. 2d 407 (2012)
Roper v. Simmons - Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005) 
Graham v. F.L. - Graham v. Florida, 560 U.S. 48 (2010) 
Graham v. FL - About the Decision - Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth (January 2012) 
J.D.B. v. N.C. - J.D.B. v. North Carolina, 131 S. Ct. 2394, 180 L. Ed. 2d 310 (U.S.N.C. 2011)


Stop & Frisk Activity (2013) - NYCLU (August 2014)
Floyd, et al. [and Ligon, et al.] Order and Decision - U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (October 31, 2014) - Decision affirming the District Court's denial of the police unions' motion to intervene in the litigation. 
Stop and Frisk Appeal, The Sequel - Anil Kalhan, Dorf on Law (October 17, 2014) 

Transfer Schools

Choices and Enrollment: Transfers - NYC Department of Education 
Transfers: Public School Choice Option - NYC Department of Education 
Regulation of the Chancellor - Section A-449: Saftey Transfers - NYC Department of Education, Regulations of the Chancellor (Issued March 9, 2011)
Requesting School Transfers Tip Sheet - Advocates For Children 
District 79: Alternative Schools and Programs - NYC Department of Education 
Dropouts top grads at transfer schools - Yoav Gonen, New York Post (July 6, 2013) 
With police report requirement unclear, safety transfers hard to come by - Jackie Schechter, Chalkbeat New York (June 27, 2014) 
In New York City, Few Students Seek Transfers From Underperforming Schools - Leslie Brody, The Wall Street Journal (November 7, 2014) 

Mental Health

Testimony of Amanda Parsons (Deputy Commissioner, Division of Health Care Access and Improvement, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene) (October 26, 2012) Presented to the New York City Council Committee on Mental Health, Mental Retardation, Alcoholism, Drug Abuse, and Disability Services and the Committee on Fire and Criminal Justice Services, concerning NYC's compliance with the Brad H. Settlement and administration of discharge planning for people with mental illness in city jails.  
Update on the Implementation of the Brad H. Settlement.pdf - City Council Hearing (February 17, 2005), Presented by Jennifer J. Parish, Urban Justice Center 
Youth with Mental Health Disorders in the Juvenile Justice System: Results from a Multi-State Prevalence Study.pdf - Jennie L. Shufelt and Joseph J. Cocozza, National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice (June 2006)
Juvenile Mental Health Courts: An Emerging Strategy.pdf - Joseph J. Cocozza and Jennie L. Shufelt, National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice (June 2006) 
Blueprint for Change: A Comprehensive Model for the Identification and Treatment of Youth with Mental Health Needs in Contact With the Juvenile Justice System.pdf - Joseph J. Cocozza and Kathleen R. Skowyra, National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice (2007)
Justices Hear Florida Case on Measuring Inmates' Mental Disabilities - Adam Liptak, The New York Times (March 3, 2014)
Miller v. A.L..pdf - Miller v. Alabama, 132 S. Ct. 2455, 183 L. Ed. 2d 407 (2012)

Cultural Competency 

Project Implicit - Project Implicit has created tests that reveal certain biases believed to be inherent in persons of different cultures
A Rose by Any Other Name.pdf - Jan Jacobowitz, FAWL Journal (Spring 2009)
Immaculate Perception? - Jerry Kang, TEDx (2013) 
Can prejudice ever be a good thing? - Paul Bloom, TED (2014)


Girls in the Justice System 

Understanding the Female Offender - Lisa M. Broidy & Elizabeth E. Cauffman, National Criminal Justice Reference Service (December 2006)
A Better Way to Spend $500,000 - How the Juvenile Justice System Fails Girls.pdf - Beyer, et al., Wisconsin Women's Law Journal (July 2003)

LGBTQ in the Justice System 

Problem Solving Courts and Other Alternatives

Principles for Youth Justice Programming - Center for Court Innovation (September 2014)
Juvenile Mental Health Courts: An Emerging Strategy copy.pdf - Cocozza and Shufelt, National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice

National Reform Efforts

Safely Home - Shaena M. Fazal, Esq., Youth Advocate Programs Policy & Advocacy Center (June 2014) 

Policing in NYC Schools 

Brain Science and Child Psychology

Adolescent Development and the Regulation of Youth Crime - Elizabeth S. Scott & Laurence Steinberg
Should the Science of Adolescent Brain Development Inform Public Policy? - Laurence Steinberg, Issues in Science and Technology (2012)

Substance Abuse 

DrugFacts: High School and Youth Trends - National Institute on Drug Abuse (December 2014)
Juvenile Justice and Substance Use - Laurie Chassin (Fall 2008)

School-to-Prison Pipeline Resources

Judith Kaye Taskforce 

Keeping Kids in School and Out of Court - Report and Recommendations (2013) - NYS Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children

Youth Justice Organizations and Websites

Bronx Resources

Bronx Studio School for Writers and Artists - NYC Department of Education 
Close to Home Initiative - NYS Office of Child and Family Services 

Alternate Providers

Videos & Visual Resources

The Color of Justice - Center for Children's Advocacy
Life After Lock-Up - Center for Children's Advocacy
Legal Rights in Juvenile Detention - Center for Children's Advocacy
Legal Rights in Foster Care - Center for Children's Advocacy

Recent Articles & Publications

National Juvenile Defense Standards - National Juvenile Defender Center
The Sting of Juvenile Detention - David Maass of the Crime Report