Missing the Mark with ACLU Ohio
"Juvenile justice systems were created to protect young people’s rights and focus on education and rehabilitation rather than only punishment. Sadly, in recent years, we have drifted away from that purpose. Many of our youth fall victim to the school-to-prison pipeline, the policies and practices that funnel children out of schools and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems."
Jennifer Martinez Atzberger, from ACLU Ohio will be discussing
juvenile justice in Ohio and some of the projects ACLU is working on.
Jennifer Martinez Atzberger is the senior staff attorney for the ACLU of Ohio. She handles complex litigation and policy strategy on a wide range of civil liberties issues.
Jennifer has extensive litigation experience in the area of criminal justice from her years of practice with the Cuyahoga County Public Defender Office, in both the juvenile and criminal divisions. She also has a significant background in education and disability law from her work as the supervising attorney for the education law unit at The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland.Jennifer graduated with a BA in English from Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA. In LA she learned first-hand what happens when people feel that their rights are being violated as she watched the LA riots explode throughout the city during her senior year of college. Although Occidental means “to the west” she decided to go east after college, and moved with her husband to his hometown of Cleveland. She worked as a community organizer with the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless before applying to law school, and graduating with honors from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.
Her passion for justice, and the need to let go of the stress that comes with life as a poverty law attorney, led her to become certified as a yoga instructor. With this certification, and her background in juvenile law and education, she founded and directs a local non-profit organization, Urban Lotus Youth Yoga, which provides free yoga classes to youth in detention centers and inner-city schools in Cleveland. When asked about the odd pairing of yoga and the law she points to two examples of people who used yoga to bring justice to the world, Mahatma Gandhi, also a lawyer, and the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who fashioned his non-violent protests during the civil rights movement after Gandhi’s peaceful political resistance in India.