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Youth

All young people must have the opportunity to meaningfully participate in our society.  The ACLU Youth Policy project seeks to ensure that young people – particularly those who have been historically excluded or underserved – receive meaningful education and services in communities, instead of being pushed to a juvenile justice system that will undermine their ability to be successful as adults.  Our current focus is on reforming school discipline policies and practices, working to limit school-based referrals to the juvenile justice system, and decreasing the over-reliance on jails and prisons for young people in the juvenile and adult criminal law systems.
Stop pushing special education students out of school:  ACLU of Washington lawsuit seeks to stop students who require special education from being pushed out of Washington's public schools
PSA to student protesters: You have rights!
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Prosecutors should think twice before charging teens who sext

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In this case, the ACLU urged the Washington Supreme Court to allow juveniles and young adults to challenge the draconian adult sentences imposed on them, because youth has been recognized as a mitigating factor in sentencing.
We support Mr. Meippen’s case, which argues that this ruling should apply retroactively to allow him and other juveniles given very long adult prison sentences without consideration of youth as a mitigating factor to argue for reduced sentences now.
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We filed an amicus brief with other amici with the Washington Supreme Court arguing that the widely recognized “mitigating factors of youth” should allow for concurrent sentences rather than the consecutive ones required by adult sentencing standards.
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