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Duke University




One of the harshest collateral consequences of a juvenile delinquency case is the prospect of eviction from public housing. Under the federal government’s One Strike policy, public housing authorities are encouraged to evict families for any criminal act by their children, no matter how trivial. This politically popular policy creates more social ills than it cures. There is no evidence that it reduces crime in public housing, but there is abundant evidence that it makes families homeless, puts children out on the street, leads police departments to breach laws concerning confidentiality of juvenile proceedings, and creates conflicts of interest between parents and their troubled offspring. This article explores the background and practical operation of the One Strike policy, how it affects the processing of children in juvenile delinquency cases, and suggests legislative, agency, and criminal justice reforms to ameliorate the problem.

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