From representing teens to guiding immigration decisions and shaping policy, students involved with the Juvenile Rights Advocacy Project (JRAP) engage with multiple facets of children’s law. JRAP specializes in representing and serving as Guardian ad Litem for youth in multiple systems, building ongoing relationships and maintaining a continuity of representation.
Attorneys and students collaborate with staff social workers and graduate social work students from the Boston College School of Social Work to provide clients with comprehensive, interdisciplinary assistance.
A long-standing focus of the program has been providing representation to girls in the Massachusetts juvenile justice system—juveniles who often require advocacy across systems. JRAP’s ecological approach emphasizes increasing access to and accountability of services and improving each client’s opportunity for success when she re-enters the community from detention or other placement.
According to JRAP director Francine T. Sherman '80, author of a shocking new report, Gender Injustice, girls are now making up a larger share of the juvenile justice population at every stage of the process. Sherman co-authored the report with Annie Balck, a former BC Law JRAP student.