PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - June 17, 2021 


A perfect storm is putting a strain on blood-bank supplies; Congress approves Juneteenth as a national holiday.


2021Talks - June 17, 2021 


VP Harris meets with Texas lawmakers, Congress passes Juneteenth bill, Senate holds hearing on Women's Health Protection Act, and advocates rally for Paid Leave

Report: For Kids, Virtual Court Hearings Put Legal Rights at Risk

Downloading Audio

Click to download

We love that you want to share our Audio! And it is helpful for us to know where it is going.
Media outlets that are interested in downloading content should go to www.newsservice.org
Click Here if you do not already have an account and need to sign up.
Please do it now, as the option to download our audio packages is ending soon

Juvenile defenders say in-person meetings are critical for building trust and strong relationships with their clients. (ijeab/Adobe Stock)
Juvenile defenders say in-person meetings are critical for building trust and strong relationships with their clients. (ijeab/Adobe Stock)
 By Lily Bohlke - Producer, Contact
May 7, 2021

CHICAGO -- As courts across the country consider whether to continue holding hearings remotely post-pandemic, juvenile-justice advocates are asking them to weigh the risks to due-process rights for young people.

Illinois has no minimum age for prosecuting children, so kids age 10 or younger are having their court hearings online.

Dr. Amanda Klonsky, lecturer at University of Chicago School of Social Work, Policy and Practice, who has worked as an educator in jails and prisons, said establishing trust with kids is critical.

Many in the juvenile-justice system are dealing with trauma, or in need of behavioral or developmental support.

"So, as an educator, I'm extremely concerned about the ways that this move toward expansion of virtual legal services and hearings will exacerbate the inequalities and the crisis that we were already in," Klonsky explained.

A new report from the National Juvenile Defender Center showed defense attorneys are finding it difficult to communicate effectively and confidentially with their young clients, and to bridge the digital divide, since some kids and families don't have access to high-speed broadband or other tools required for online communication.

Many defenders surveyed said in online client visits, they weren't sure who else was in the room, off-camera. It might be a correctional officer supervising a child using a facility's technology, or a parent or guardian, limiting their ability to speak privately.

Mary Ann Scali, executive director of the Center, said it's crucial to mitigate these issues now, and to resume in-person meetings with lawyers and court hearings beyond the pandemic.

"We want to be sure that, to the extent we have to continue to use these technologies, that they're private and confidential, that young people get to take breaks," Scali urged. "How hard is it for a young person to engage with a screen and really grasp the life consequences of these conversations that we're having, about their lives?"

The report also emphasized the pandemic's magnification of racial disparities in the juvenile system. It called on courts to recognize implicit bias in decisions to detain young people of color, and make efforts to keep children and teens out of custody and at home with their families.

Best Practices