Juvenile Sex Offenders
Eli Lehrer presented on the topic: Historical, Legal, and Cultural Trends that Lead to Youthful Offenders on Sex Offender Registries and How These Practices Have Impacted LGBT Youth and Other Minority Groups
Nicole Pittman presented on the topic: The Harm of Placing Youth on the Sex Offender Registry and the Efforts Being Made to Reform These Laws
Angel Runnels presented on the topic: Age of Consent and the Criminal Charges Juveniles are Facing
Eli Lehrer is president and co-founder of the R Street Institute, a free-market think tank. He is also advisor to the Criminal Justice Reform task force of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and a contributing editor of National Affairs Magazine.
Lehrer has written widely on criminal justice topics for a wide variety of publications such as The Weekly Standard, National Review and the Washington Times. He is widely quoted and cited on issues of juvenile sex offenses and wrote the major article "Rethinking Sex Offender Registries" for National Affairs.
Prior to co-founding R Street, Lehrer served as speechwriter to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill First, a consultant to police departments for the Unisys corporation and worked on policing issues as a fellow of the Heritage Foundation.
He is also a board member of Log Cabin Republicans, an organization for LGBT Republicans and their allies.
Lehrer received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University and a master’s from Johns Hopkins University. He lives in Herndon, Virgina with his wife Kari and son Andrew.
Nicole Pittman has worked exclusively on questioning the wisdom of placing children on sex offender registries since 2005, becoming a leading national expert in this area. She recently founded the Center on Youth Registration Reform at Impact Justice, an center dedicated to eliminating the widespread practice of placing kids on sex-offense registries. A Stoneleigh and Rosenberg Leading Edge Fund fellow (and 2011 Senior Soros Justice Advocacy fellow), Pittman regularly testifies in front of state and federal legislatures, while building a bi-partisan coalition of advocates and lawmakers dedicated to tackling this issue, which many are calling a top priority in juvenile justice reform. Pittman, a graduate of Tulane School of Law and Duke University, began documenting the harms of labeling young people more than a decade ago as a juvenile public defender. She later collected more than 500 stories for the Human Rights Watch report Raised on the Registry: The Irreparable Harm of Placing Children on Sex Offender Registries in the U.S. Ending youth registration is part of a larger desire to change the narrative around child sexual behavior, which will ultimately allow the country to move beyond punitive responses and toward lasting child sexual abuse prevention and healing.
Angel Runnels graduated from the University of South Dakota School of Law in 2008 and began her current employment for the Minnehaha County Public Defender Office in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She exclusively represents the office’s juvenile clients. She has served on many county and state workgroups in South Dakota tasked with improving juvenile justice. She is the South Dakota advisory board member for the Midwest Juvenile Defender Center. Angel has also been invited to speak about juvenile justice issues at various local, state and national conferences. She lives in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, with her husband and three sons.