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Justitia Goddess


The Children’s Policy and Law Initiative seeks to eliminate the excessive criminalization of children and achieve a more just, equitable, and age-appropriate public policy approach for children. CPLI engages in public policy advocacy that includes: preventing children’s entry into the juvenile and criminal justice systems, and the inequitable treatment of children of color, including the over-use of exclusionary practices in school and school-based arrests and referrals to juvenile court; reforming laws, policies, and practices that embody punitive approaches or criminalization of children; increasing the use of research-based alternatives and community-based options for children; and ensuring the fair, equitable, just and age-appropriate treatment of court-involved children. 

CPLI works to end the practice of trying kids in adult court. These practices disproportionately impact youth of color.
Nationally, African-American youth represent only 17% of the overall youth population, but they make up 30% of those arrested and a staggering  62% of those prosecuted in the adult criminal system. 

They are also nine times more likely than white youth to receive an adult prison sentence. Hispanic youth are 43% more likely than white youth to be waived to the adult system and 40% more likely to be admitted to the adult prison system.

Children belong in school. We work to end the school-to-prison pipeline.

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Two Friends with a Tablet


For laws, policies and practices that are humane, just, fair, and developmentally appropriate. See our legislative accomplishments from 2012-2023 here.

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Become A Member of Our Legislative Network

You can join by becoming a member of the Indiana Coalition for Youth Justice. Visit our Vision Statement here. To find out more, send us an email at

Attend CPLI's Annual Public Policy Summit

This year's Annual Public Policy Summit is on December 6, 2024. This virtual meeting brings individuals and organizations together to understand legislative initiatives expected in the upcoming legislative session. 

Join the Decriminalization of Youth Workgroup

The Decriminalization of Youth Workgroup helps identify legislative and public policy issues to target for change to improve outcomes for children in Indiana. To get involved, send an email to

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