Author Archives: Tamar Birckhead

About Tamar Birckhead

Law

Will Supreme Court Decision be Death Knell for Juvenile Life without Parole?

If I had to name a single U.S. Supreme Court case that effectively highlights the entrenched problems of the American criminal justice system, it would be Montgomery v. Louisiana: from the 1963 murder of Charles Hurt Jr., a white deputy sheriff … Continue reading

Posted in Juveniles, Sentencing, U.S. Supreme Court | Comments Off on Will Supreme Court Decision be Death Knell for Juvenile Life without Parole?

Time to End our Modern-Day Debtors’ Prisons

From Colonial times until the mid-1800s, it was common practice in the United States to jail people who failed or were unable to pay their debts, a practice that many, including the Supreme Court, have since recognized as a violation … Continue reading

Posted in Adult Court, Advocacy, Criminal Justice System | Comments Off on Time to End our Modern-Day Debtors’ Prisons

Prosecuting Children who are Delinquent by Reason of Poverty

Several months ago, an 8-year-old boy in Alabama was charged with the murder of a 1-year-old girl named Kelci Lewis. The authorities announced that the girl’s mother and a friend had left six children, none older than 8, at home … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Prosecuting Children who are Delinquent by Reason of Poverty

Juvenile Law Center Seeks Staff Attorney

One of the best juvenile justice advocacy organizations in the U.S., the Juvenile Law Center, seeks a dedicated, creative, and experienced lawyer to join their legal staff. The attorney should have a minimum of five years of experience in juvenile … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal /Juvenile Defense, Jobs | Comments Off on Juvenile Law Center Seeks Staff Attorney

Recommended Juvenile Justice Reading around the Web

Nearly on a daily basis, there are excellent long form articles and other stories on juvenile justice-related topics on the web.  I try to keep up via several sources, including my Twitter feed (yes, if you’re not on Twitter and following … Continue reading

Posted in Advocacy, Blogosphere, Criminal Justice System, Media, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Recommended Juvenile Justice Reading around the Web

Why are Armed Police Officers Still in Our Schools?

Recently I sat in the main office of a racially-diverse middle school in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, waiting to speak with a guidance counselor.  I arrived early in the morning, and the school resource office (SRO) assigned to the school … Continue reading

Posted in Advocacy, School to Prison Pipeline, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Youth Justice Leadership Institute: Now Accepting Applications

Know an advocate or organizer who wants to set the youth justice world on fire?   The National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN)  is now accepting applications to the 2016-17 Youth Justice Leadership Institute.   The Institute is a robust, year-long fellowship … Continue reading

Posted in Advocacy, Jobs, Juveniles | Comments Off on Youth Justice Leadership Institute: Now Accepting Applications

When a Clock is Only a Clock: Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline

Fourteen-year-old Ahmed Mohamed captured the attention of the public last Fall when he was arrested during his first weeks at MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas, for bringing a homemade clock to school to show his engineering teacher.  This simple act qualified … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on When a Clock is Only a Clock: Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline

Book Review: Letters to a Lifer — the Boy “Never to be Released”

By David Pasley, UNC Law 2017 Letters to a Lifer: the Boy “Never to be Released” by Cindy Sanford, with a foreword by Jeanne Bishop, is a powerful and touching narrative that illustrates the folly of life sentences for juvenile … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Guest Blogger, Juveniles, Miller v. Alabama, Sentencing, Uncategorized, Victimized Children, Visual Arts | Comments Off on Book Review: Letters to a Lifer — the Boy “Never to be Released”

Right to Counsel in Nonpayment Hearings

In my last post, I discussed the phenomenon that I call “the new peonage,” in which criminal justice debt creates a two-tiered system of justice in our juvenile and criminal courtrooms.  One of my proposals for reform is to establish the … Continue reading

Posted in Adult Court, Criminal /Juvenile Defense, Poverty, Race, Class, Ethnicity, Right to Counsel, U.S. Supreme Court, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Right to Counsel in Nonpayment Hearings