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Students without legal representation jailed in Knox County, Tenn.
In Knox County, Tennessee some students are ending up in jail even though they haven't committed any crimes. Federal and state laws are supposed to keep juveniles who have committed status offenses - like truancy or running away - out of jail. An investigation by the Center for Public Integrity has found evidence that Knox County courts may have broken the law by sending juveniles to jail without a valid court order.
Juveniles' rights to legal representation in these cases are not firmly established, and legal experts have argued that truant students are not getting the representation they need to protect themselves in court.