Public Policy Initiatives Children’s Law Center worked with Kentucky Youth Advocates to draft and support SB 195, the Juvenile Expungement Bill, sponsored by Senator Whitney Westerfield. The law went into effect July 1, 2017 to help youth who have been held accountable and have stayed out of trouble expunge additional offenses. SB 195 will make youth record expungement more consistent with adult record expungement, and eliminates some hurdles under the existing expungement statute. KY 195 In May 2017, the Children’s Law Center, Ohio ACLU, and the Office of the Ohio Public Defender filed a request with the Supreme Court of Ohio to strengthen the right to counsel provisions within Juvenile Rule 3 and limit the number of youth who waive the right to counsel. The request would require that all youth be appointed counsel at the earliest stage possible, and ensure that youth do not waive this right without having consulted with counsel first. The request was submitted on the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision, In re Gault, which sets forth the principle that children have a constitutional right to counsel. This decision paved the way for children to have critical rights in juvenile court. But, in some jurisdictions in the U.S., including Ohio, children still appear in court without an attorney. OH Juvenile Rule

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