Hannah BentonEidsath is a staff attorney at the National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) where she specializes in juvenile justice reform. At NCYL, Hannah works primarily on dismantling the “school-to-prison-pipeline” through improving children’s access to appropriate educational interventions to prevent court involvement. Hannah’s work particularly focuses on reducing the disparate entry of youth of color into the juvenile justice system; eliminating exclusionary discipline and court referrals caused by schools’ failure to identify or properly serve students with disabilities; and limiting the impact of unconscious bias on children’s outcomes. Hannah’s work at NCYL includes litigation, administrative complaints, collaborative reform projects, and policy advocacy.
Prior to joining NCYL, Hannah was a staff attorney and an Equal Justice America fellow at the Center for Children’s Advocacy (CCA) in Hartford, CT, where she represented clients in obtaining educational and mental health services to mitigate juvenile delinquency involvement. At CCA, Hannah also worked on behalf of children in the juvenile and criminal justice systems to increase system-wide access to diversionary programs, appropriate treatment services and effective re-entry planning. Hannah has been counsel on several successful class administrative complaints resulting in improved educational services for children with disabilities, particularly children with behavioral and mental health disabilities. Hannah led a coalition in securing passage of Connecticut legislation that requires immediate readmission for students returning to the community from state juvenile or criminal justice placements to their school of prior attendance. Hannah graduated from Yale Law School and the University of Chicago. She is a member of the Connecticut Bar and a California registered legal services attorney.