Since 2014, the Juvenile and Children’s Advocacy Project of Texas has devoted its energy to passionately advocating for juvenile justice. In 2000, Professor David R. Dow founded the Texas Innocence Network, Texas’ oldest innocence network, at the University of Houston Law Center (UHLC). After decades of representing death penalty clients, Professor Dow and his wife, Professor Katya Dow, an attorney and passionate advocate for juvenile rights, established the Juvenile and Children’s Advocacy Project (JCAP) at UHLC.
Since then, JCAP has established itself as a leading advocate for juvenile justice in the Houston area through several unique programs. JCAP seeks to reduce juvenile delinquency and improve life outcomes for economically and socially disadvantaged youth through the provision of legal, educational, and social support services.
Through its juvenile record sealing program, JCAP provides free legal services for the sealing of juvenile misdemeanor and felony records. With the assistance of law students, JCAP attorneys have successfully sealed over 600 juvenile records. Professor Katya Dow has also trained more than one hundred pro bono attorneys to seal records.
Through JCAP’s juvenile representation program, JCAP defense attorneys work with law students at UHLC to provide Dual-Status Youth (youth involved in both the foster care system and criminal system) the best defense to their cases, as well as to identify and address issues which may have contributed to the occurrence of the offense and may interfere with rehabilitation and advocate for the youth in their foster care cases.
JCAP’s Education Rights program is focused on disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline by providing community outreach and direct representation to juveniles in school disciplinary proceedings, the juvenile justice system, and the criminal justice system for disciplinary infractions in public schools in the Houston area.
To get legal help through any of the above programs, click here.