Post by: Brandon Akers
My name is Brandon Akers, and I am a 1L at Regent University School of Law. Before attending Regent, I worked for a number of local non-profits while a student at The University of Chicago which focused on providing fine arts and educational resources to youth on the south side of Chicago. While attending Regent, the faculty have consistently encouraged my class to view our studies and execution of examinations as serving God. I have been privileged to further expand this service by sharpening my legal research skills in a way that concurrently aids Shared Hope International reach their goals of bringing an end to trafficking at risk youths.
The primary focus of my team’s research has been determining how each state handles two demographics which are disproportionally susceptible to trafficking: minors under 18 who have been charged with a law violation and minors who “age out” of the foster care system. Some states may provide special protections these demographics, such as separating minors from arrested adults during all proceedings, extending child welfare services to a transitional age between 18 and 24, or providing specialized housing and preservation of essential documents for youths after they age out of the foster care system. On the contrary, some states have laws which prescribe circumstances under which accelerate a minor’s entrance into adulthood by trying the minor as an adult and mixing the habitation of convicted minors with convicted adults.
Hopefully, Shared Hope International will be able to draw connections between the legal framework we provide and their own research to derive which policy decisions provide the best outcome for these at-risk demographics and minimize trafficking.
This post was written by a Center for Global Justice Student Staff Member. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice.