skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

A new study shows health disparities cost Texas billions of dollars; Senate rejects impeachment articles against Mayorkas, ending trial against Cabinet secretary; Iowa cuts historical rural school groups.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Senate dismisses the Mayorkas impeachment. Maryland Lawmakers fail to increase voting access. Texas Democrats call for better Black maternal health. And polling confirms strong support for access to reproductive care, including abortion.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

Digital court hearings cause uneasiness for young offenders

play audio
Play

Thursday, February 29, 2024   

Online conferencing was a lifeline for school lessons and business meetings during the pandemic. However, there is concern about the effects of virtual court hearings on Illinois' juvenile offenders.

The "Justice For Children Policy Brief" said minors reported feeling frustrated and anxious during their hearings because they could not understand court procedures. They also said there was a lack of privacy when speaking with their attorneys.

Angie Vigil, a Miami-based attorney specializing in children's rights, opposes digital proceedings for any substantive hearings for children.

"Judges are people and decision-makers are people and when you're in the presence of other people, you make a humanity-based decision," Vigil argued. "When you're looking at a screen you might not make as much of a humanity-based decision."

In 2022, the Illinois House of Representatives passed House Resolution 616, urging the Illinois Supreme Court to require courts to responsibly transition juvenile delinquency proceedings back to in-person hearings, with priority given to those hearings where the interests of liberty are at stake.

Supporters of virtual hearings pointed to no commute time, traffic jams, or courthouse parking fees as reasons to keep them. Parents who rely on public transportation or worry about missing work can just sign on to attend their child's case. Vigil noted a family law attorney often juggles many foster care, child welfare, and juvenile offender cases, and said virtual hearings can ease their workload.

"They are spending less time sitting in court waiting for their cases to be called and more time out in the community meeting the needs of kids," Vigil contended. "It sounds like I'm saying efficiency, but I'm actually talking about more work done for all of the children."

Vigil called the current status of digital hearings a mixed bag. Some courts have returned to in-person proceedings, others use technology for some, but not all, cases. Still other courtrooms use virtual meetings if all involved parties agree. According to the policy brief report, digital hearings will continue to thrive because of funding constraints.

Disclosure: The Juvenile Justice Initiative contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Civic Engagement, Criminal Justice, and Juvenile Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
Environmental advocates are asking California's next state budget to prioritize climate mitigation and cut tax breaks for fossil fuel companies. (The Climate Center)

Environment

play sound

As state budget negotiations continue, groups fighting climate change are asking California lawmakers to cut subsidies for oil and gas companies …


Health and Wellness

play sound

Health disparities in Texas are not only making some people sick, but affecting the state's economy. A new study shows Texas is losing $7 billion a …

Environment

play sound

City and county governments are feeling the pinch of rising operating costs but in Wisconsin, federal incentives are driving a range of local …


Each year since 2018, there have been more than 1 million online ads for guns which could be sold without a background check. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Well over three-fourths of Americans support universal background checks for gun purchases, but federal law allows unlicensed people to sell guns at …

Environment

play sound

By Max Graham for Grist.Broadcast version by Alex Gonzalez for Arizona News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Public News Serv…

During what is known as the Medicaid post-pandemic "unwinding" process, South Dakota saw the largest drop in children's enrollment in the country, with a 27% reduction in the first six months. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Last year's Medicaid expansion in South Dakota increased eligibility to another 51,000 adults but a new report showed among people across the state wh…

Health and Wellness

play sound

There is light at the end of the tunnel for Tennesseans struggling with opioid addiction, as a bill has been passed to increase access to treatment …

Environment

play sound

The New York HEAT Act might not make the final budget. The bill reduces the state's reliance on natural gas and cuts ratepayer costs by eliminating …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021