Youth Justice Clinic

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


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

Ellen Yaroshefsky is Clinical Professor of Law and the Executive Director of the Jacob Burns Ethics Center at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York. She teaches professional responsibility courses, organizes ethics programs and is the director of Cardozo’s Intensive Trial Advocacy Program.  Ellen created the Youth Justice Clinic and will be working with students this Fall.  Yaroshefsky is a member of the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics, an independent monitor that investigates corruption and helps maintain integrity in state government.  She represents lawyers and law firms in criminal, civil and disciplinary matters and serves as an expert witness on legal ethics issues.  She serves as an ethics consultant and frequently lectures on topics involving the law of lawyering to a wide variety of bar associations and other groups.  She is cochair of the Ethics, Gideon and Professionalism Committee of the American Bar Association's Criminal Justice Section, cochair of the Ethics Committee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the ethics advisor for the Prosecutorial and Judicial Complaint Center of the New York Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, a member of the advisory board of the Justice Center of the New York County Lawyers Association and of New York State Bar Association Committee on Standards of Attorney Conduct, and has served on various committees of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.  She has received a number of awards for litigation and received the New York State Bar Association award for “Outstanding Contribution in the Field of Criminal Law Education.”  From 1975-82 she was a criminal defense lawyer practicing in Seattle, Washington.  In 1982 she joined the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York, litigating civil rights, criminal and international human rights cases.  She was in private practice in New York from 1988-1992 and has been a full-time member of the Cardozo faculty since then.  Prior to joining Clayman and Rosenberg, Ms. Yaroshefsky was of counsel to Hinshaw & Culbertson, LLP, specializing in the law of lawyering

Constitutional Underpinnings 

Foreword: The Past, Present, and Future of Juvenile Justice Reform in New York State - Stephen A. Newman, New York Law School Law Review, 2011/2012

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 Education System and School Discipline

Closing the School Discipline Gap - The Civil Rights Project at UCLA
The School Discipline Consensus Report - Justice Center, Council of State Governments
Legal Advocacy and Education Reform: Litigating School Exclusion - Dean H. Rivkin, Tennessee Law Review, 2008
Real Discipline in School - Ross and Zimmerman, New York Times 

Raise the Age

Raise the Age Fact Sheet.pdf - Raise the Age NY
City Council Testimony.pdf - 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 
The Two Sides of Raise the Age in New York - Asgarian, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange 
Adolescent Development and the Regulation of Youth Crime.pdf - Scott and Steinberg, The Future of Children 

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 - US Department of Justice National Institute of Corrections

Riker's Island 

CRIPA Investigation of the NYC DOC Jails on Rikers Island.pdf - US Attorney (SDNY) Report on Riker's Island, August 4, 2014 
Rough numbers open window into Rikers violence - Morrissey and O'Connor, The New York World, July 31, 2013
Rikers: Where Mental Illness Meets Brutality in Jail - Winerip and Schwirtz, New York Times, July 14, 2014
New York City Reviewing Rikers Assaults on 129 Inmates - Schwirtz and Winerip, New York Times, July 21, 2014
U.S. Inquiry Finds a 'Culture of Violence' Against Teenage Inmates at Rikers Island - Weiser and Schwirtz, 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
Benefits of 'Close to Home' - Schiraldi and Richter, New York Law Journal
4 Youth Prisons in NY Used Excessive Force - Confessore, New York Times
Youth in Confinement - Correctional Association of New York
Joint Motion and Settlement Agreement, US v. NY - 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 

Youth in Solitary Confinement

NY's Black Sites - Casella and Ridgeway, The Nation 
Voices From The Box - NYC Jails Action Coalition 
End solitary confinement for juveniles - Clarke and Maki, Chicago Sun-Times 

Special Education

NY Family Court

Punishment and the 8th Amendment

Children Are Different (Infographic) - Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth
Graham v. FL - About the Decision - Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth

Mental Health

Youth with Mental Health Disorders in the Juvenile Justice System: Results from a Multi-State Prevalence Study.pdf - Cocozza and Shufelt, National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice
Juvenile Mental Health Courts: An Emerging Strategy.pdf - Cocozza and Shufelt, National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice

Cultural Competency 

A Rose by Any Other Name.pdf - Jan Jacobowitz 


Stops, Detentions and Constitutional Rights

Stop-and-Frisk Expert Report (from Floyd) - Center for Constitutional Rights
Floyd et al v. City of New York - Order and Opinion, August 12, 2013
Ligon v. City of New York - Order and Opinion, January 1, 2013

Girls and LGBTQ Issues

Understanding the Female Offender - Broidy and Cauffman
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

Problem Solving Courts and Other Alternatives

Juvenile Mental Health Courts: An Emerging Strategy copy.pdf - Cocozza and Shufelt, National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice

Comparative Jurisdictions

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