This study examines outcomes related to a parent representation pilot program in Travis County, Texas. Researchers collected data from 172 parents involved in the juvenile dependency system. Their independent variable was attorney representation and the dependent variables were (1) return to the parent or dismissal of the juvenile dependency petition, (2) permanent management conservatorship, (3) relative or guardianship care, and (4) aging out of the system. There were 52 pilot cases and 61 control cases.
Victims of Crime
Legal Needs Assessment of Older Adults in Maine
Legal Services for the Elderly (LSE) is a nonprofit organization in Maine that provides free legal assistance. The University of Maine Center on Aging conducted a legal needs assessment of older Americans in the state. They find that between 45 and 86 percent of those surveyed experienced legal problems within the last three years.
Identity Theft: A Low–Income Issue
In this article, Dranoff identifies how identity theft is particularly harmful for low-income individuals. Because identify theft often brings financial loss, those without a financial cushion are often impacted more negatively.
Debts, Defaults and Details: Exploring the Impact of Debt Collection Litigation on Consumers and Courts
This study investigates the protections in place for consumers when confronted with debt buyers. Spector found that when customers made even minimal effort to protect themselves, it helped considerably. Having an attorney increases the likelihood of dismissal, but less than 10 percent of defendants retained counsel.
High-Quality Legal Representation for Parents in Child Welfare Cases Results in Improved Outcomes for Families and Potential Cost Savings
This article describes three parent-representation programs: New York City’s Center for Family Representation; Detroit’s Center for Family Advocacy; and Washington State’s Office of Public Defense Parent Representation Program. The article also provides recommendations for evaluating and expanding programs like these.
Final Report of the Impact of Legal Representation on Child Custody Decisions Among Families with a History of Intimate Partner Violence Study
This study tested whether legal representation of DV victim in child custody decisions leads to greater protections and visitation decisions when compared to those who are not represented. When individuals had legal representation, in comparison to those who did not have legal representation but who qualified for legal aid, the DV victim was 85 percent more likely to have denied visitation to the abusing parent and 77 percent more likely to have restrictions placed on the abusing parent’s visitation (if granted at all).
Exploring Outcomes Related to Legal Representation for Parents Involved in Mississippi’s Juvenile Dependency System, Preliminary Findings
This is a preliminary report on the effect legal representation has on parents involved in Mississippi’s juvenile dependency system. Providing legal representation to parents in the juvenile dependency system is found to improve outcomes for children (p. 3). The results described in this report are descriptive. They also find that providing legal representation to parents in juvenile dependency cases increases the likelihood the parents themselves attend court.
Comprehensive Services for Survivors of Human Trafficking: Findings From Clients in Three Communities
Researchers at the Urban Institute conducted interviews with survivors of human trafficking and social service providers. They find a large unmet need for legal services.
Debt Relief and Debtor Outcomes: Measuring the Effects of Consumer Bankruptcy Protection
Researchers at the National Bureau of Economic Research analyzed 500,000 bankruptcy filings. They find that chapter 13 protection increases earnings, decreases mortality, and decreases foreclosure rates. When individuals are no longer followed by their debt, they experience several positive externalities.
Older African American Women and Barriers to Reporting Domestic Violence to Law Enforcement in the Rural Deep South
The main reasons for not going to law enforcement when experiencing abuse was fear of being stigmatized by their church, family, and community. The researchers reviewed data from the National Incident-Based Reporting System and conducted fieldwork in four rural counties in the Black Belt of Alabama. They find that when women feel more independent, which can be furthered by legal services such as assisting with benefits and outreach, they were more likely to come forward to seek out law enforcement.