January 29, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: January 29, 2020
Contact: Selina Weiss (415) 543-3379, [email protected]
Settlement of Civil Rights Lawsuit In opposition to San Francisco for Unlawfully Incarcerating Fifteen-Yr-Previous Little one
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Yesterday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to approve the settlement of a lawsuit filed in opposition to the Metropolis and County of San Francisco for unlawfully incarcerating a fifteen-year-old baby for days after a decide ordered him to be launched. The lawsuit was filed by the Youth Regulation Middle and Covington & Burling LLP on behalf of the boy and his mom. It’s anticipated that the settlement might be lastly accepted by the Board of Supervisors after a second vote subsequent week.
The lawsuit was filed in 2018 in opposition to the Metropolis and County of San Francisco, former Juvenile Probation Chief Allen Nance, and three particular person officers for violations of federal and state legal guidelines. Based on the grievance, state legislation dictated that after the boy was initially detained by police, he ought to have been launched to his mom. As a substitute, officers of the Juvenile Probation Division booked him into juvenile corridor. The following day, a decide reviewed the boy’s case and ordered his launch. Regardless of receiving that court docket order, the Juvenile Probation Division didn’t launch him, protecting the boy incarcerated for 3 extra days. He was lastly launched solely after the decide found the Division’s failure to adjust to the court docket’s order.
As alleged within the grievance, the boy’s illegal incarceration resulted partially from customs and practices maintained by the Juvenile Probation Division. Whereas the lawsuit was pending, the Division promulgated new insurance policies associated to youth detention.
“Any size of incarceration can inflict deep and lasting hurt on a toddler. We’re happy with the decision of this case and the closure that it brings for our shoppers,” mentioned Meredith Desautels, employees lawyer on the Youth Regulation Middle. “We’re additionally hopeful that coverage adjustments underway on the Juvenile Probation Division will lead to extra youth remaining dwelling with their households as a substitute of experiencing the trauma of a locked facility.”
This settlement comes at a vital juncture for juvenile justice in San Francisco. In June of 2019, the Board of Supervisors voted to shut San Francisco’s juvenile corridor facility by the tip of 2021. In January, Mayor London Breed introduced the appointment of a brand new chief of the Juvenile Probation Division, Katy Weinstein Miller.
As San Francisco works in direction of closure of its juvenile corridor, this case stands as an necessary instance of the misuse of that facility and the hurt that detention inflicts on younger individuals and their households.
Straughter, et al., v. Metropolis and County of San Francisco, et al., 3:18-cv-03651.
About Us: The Youth Regulation Middle advocates to remodel foster care and juvenile justice programs throughout the nation so each baby and youth can thrive.
Click on right here to obtain a PDF model of the press launch.