Professor William W. Patton quoted in Connecticut Law Tribune on open juvenile courts

Connecticut Law Tribune, May 7, 2015 (Subscription required)


There are certainly others who agree with Frazzini. Near the end of the Connecticut experiment, one scholar who strongly opposes juvenile court openness, William W. Patton of Whittier Law School in California, authored “An Analysis of the Connecticut Juvenile Access Pilot Program.” It emphasized his view that open court proceedings damage abused children. Patton’s report comprised more than 60 pages of the pilot program committee’s 108-page appendix. In an interview, he said the juvenile court privacy policies remain “a crazy quilt” across the 50 states, with no clear trend toward openness or court closure.

Judges can request that reporters not disclose the identities of juveniles as a condition to court coverage. Whether they could enforce such an order, in light of First Amendment rights, “is still an open question. We don’t know how the U.S. Supreme Court would rule,” Patton said.

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