National Youth Justice Action Month: Defending Children’s Rights – Press Conference Highlights

October 2, 2023

This October, young leaders and local advocates are coming together to double down on our commitment to securing safe communities that our children can thrive in. Watch this highlights video from the press conference to launch National Youth Justice Action Month and lift up the importance of the Child Interrogation Protection Act of 2022 (CIPA).

Learn more about Children's Rights

Watch the full press conference here

Video produced and edited by Nehemiah Bester, communications strategist, ACLU of Maryland.


00:00 - 00:06
Shaleece Williams
The Child Interrogation Protection Act represents the significant progress that we had made in protecting our children.

00:06 – 00:17
Ashiah Parker
It is a part of our mission to ensure that residents of 21217, especially our youth, are knowledgeable about the law and their basic rights.

00:17 – 00:33
Dana Vickers Shelley
Here are some facts about CIPA that all of us need to know and understand: the law requires an attorney to be consulted before police interrogate a child in custody to make sure that their Miranda Rights are covered. And they're explained in a way that the child can understand.

00:33 – 00:45
Dana Vickers Shelley
The child's parents or guardians are also notified that the child was taken into custody. CIPA would prohibit law enforcement from interrogating a child if the child hasn't been allowed to talk to an attorney.

00:45 – 00:56
Rev. Brian Murray
It is a reasonable request that an attorney be present for a child before they even open their mouth while in custodial care.

56:41 – 01:07
Henry Parker
We should have the same rights to a lawyer or have somebody serious with us when it comes to this type of stuff. A parent with them when they get interrogated by police.

01:07 - 01:18
Del. Sandy Bartlett
I love what Henry said about “it is good to have someone important in the room with you.” To let you know that it’s okay, that you’re okay.

01:18 - 01:34
Dayvon Love
Black youth are often assessed in about six to ten years older than their actual age, and a part of why they were assessed as older and the impact that that has, is that they are deemed more culpable for their behavior. Less innocent. And less deserving of the proper treatment that they should have as young people.

01:34 - 01:56
Jenny Egan
Maryland continues to charge an inordinate amount of youth automatically in adult court. Maryland's prison population is, 6% of Maryland’s prison population was sent there when they were children. That's double the national average. In order to change that, we need to continue to build on a system that protects and serves youth.

01:56 - 02:08
Dana Vickers Shelley
Despite what you may have seen in the news, police can still talk to the child as well as interview
witnesses and community members. But first and foremost, the child must be represented by an attorney.

02:08 - 02:21
Del. Sandy Bartlett
The time has come. The time has come to protect our children. In fact, the time has long passed to stop with false confessions. CIPA is a way to do both.