The Children's Policy & Law Initiative of Indiana

Seeking to reform laws & practices that contribute to the criminalization of children


CPLI advocates for systemic changes in laws and governmental responses so that they promote healthy outcomes and ensure that the treatment of children is just and age-appropriate.


Our state’s laws, policies, and programs for children are developmentally appropriate, equitably administered, and fair; they provide the necessary support for a child’s successful transition to adulthood.

Focus of Advocacy and Reform:

  • Change laws, policies, practices, and culture to keep children in schools and out of the juvenile and criminal justice systems
  • Reform school discipline laws and reduce the exclusionary practices of suspensions and expulsions of children from schools
  • Ensure fairness and equity for court-involved youth
  • Advocate for age-appropriate, research-based continuum of services for troubled or court-involved children
  • Promote public policies and practices that embrace positive, strength-based youth development approaches, and advocate for laws that invest in Indiana’s children

CPLI is registered 501(c)(3) and a member of the National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN), a network of state-based juvenile justice advocacy groups.

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Please consider an online donation using PayPal! Or if you would like to contribute financially to CPLI in another way, please contact us by phone or email. As a registered 501(c)(3) public charity, our organization your donation will be tax deductible to the extent allowable under state and federal laws. We welcome and thank you for your support!

The latest from CPLI


Welcome to the website of the CPLI of Indiana. We look forward to your support in our efforts to achieve justice and reform policies that criminalize our state’s children. Please check back regularly to learn more about our organization and current topics facing Indiana kids.

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Save the Date - April 15, 2017
Join CPLI for a night at the Indiana Repertory Theater. Tickets available now at
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5 days ago  ·  

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Make a Gift to CPLI’s 2016 Annual Fund Campaign So Kids Can Be Kids!

How has discipline in U.S. Schools changed over time? Indiana University Associate Professor of Sociology Brea L. Perry told attendees at CPLI’s Annual Public Policy Summit at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law on October 7, 2016, in Indianapolis, that the last three decades have emphasized a “culture of control” in schools - crime control, surveillance and exclusionary punishment. Exclusionary forms of punishment marked by out of school suspensions have risen dramatically in recent years.

1 in 9 students in 2012-2013 were suspended in Indiana. The students most at risk are those most vulnerable and who face the greatest challenges outside of school.

Zero tolerance practices are creating a growing pool of young adults who are uneducated and unemployable. According to a five-year estimate released by the U.S. Census Bureau in December 2015, 21.53%, or 119,075 young people, between the ages of 18-24 in Indiana are without a high school diploma or G.E.D.

CPLI is working to shrink that pool of young people by changing the culture in school to embrace positive approaches to learning and discipline. Check Leaders Collaborating to Advance Positive School Discipline in Indiana Report and Recommendations (2016) here:

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3 months ago  ·  

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We are pleased to have the Children's Policy and Law Initiative of Indiana here today to host the "Moving Forward with Positive Learning Environments in Indiana" Summit. Thank you to all that are in attendance! ... See MoreSee Less

4 months ago  ·  

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Who We Are

CPLI is a group of professionals with legal & child development backgrounds looking to make a difference.

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Resources Available

For more information about topics related to the work of CPLI, please visit our resources page.

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