Video: America’s Juvenile Injustice System | Marsha Levick | TEDxPhiladelphia

The collective promise of the Pledge of Allegiance to secure “justice for all” is one of America’s great unfulfilled promises, says Marsha Levick, Co-Founder of the Juvenile Law Center. Juvenile courts originally operated in an informal, private manner. The history of juvenile law has seen the pendulum swing back and forth from small progressions to scandalous miscarriages of justice such as the “Kids for Cash” story that came out of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. Levick illustrates the heartbreaking reality of what happens to children in the justice system whose rights and voices go unconsidered, Levick emphasizes the need to break the cycle of injustice for the two million children arrested each year in our country.

Marsha Levick is working to shift public thinking and legal policy necessary to achieve true justice for our country’s most vulnerable citizens: kids. As a children’s rights lawyer and national expert in juvenile law, she has dedicated her career to advancing and protecting the legal rights and interests of at-risk youth. Levick founded the Juvenile Law Center, where is currently Deputy Director and Chief Counsel, with three of her Temple Law School classmates in 1975. Levick has been the architect of Juvenile Law Center’s strategic participation in key cases across the country, which has led to several landmark Supreme Court rulings, including: eliminating the death penalty for juveniles (Roper v. Simmons, 2005); eliminating juvenile life without parole sentences in non-homicide cases (Graham v. Florida, 2010); and ending mandatory life without parole sentences for juveniles in homicide cases (Miller v. Alabama, 2012).

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

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