Deborah LaBelle

Deborah LaBelle, is a civil rights attorney, professor and writer in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She has been lead counsel in more than a dozen class action cases that challenged policies for incarcerated people, particularly youth. Formerly she directed the Juvenile Life Without Parole Initiative for the ACLU of Michigan and coordinated Michigan’s Juvenile Mitigation Access Committee.

LaBelle is the author of chapters “Women, the Law and the Justice System: Neglect, Violence, and Resistance” in the volume Women at the Margins: Neglect, Punishment and Resistance (Routledge, 2002) and “Ensuring Rights for All: Realizing Human Rights for Prisoners” in Bringing Human Rights Home (Praeger Press, 2008). She was the consultant to the documentary, “Natural Life” (2014), that highlighted the inequities in the U.S. juvenile justice system by looking at five cases.

Teenagers Are Children, Not "Bad Seed"
Against the Current, No. 215, November/December 2021