Reminder: Juvenile Delinquency Specialization – Application Period Open

Just a quick reminder that applications are now being accepted for the NC State Bar Juvenile Delinquency Sub-Specilaization.  North Carolina’s program, one of the only certifications in the U.S., recognizes expertise in juvenile delinquency court.  Applications are open to any attorney who meets the qualifications.  Applications are due by July 1, 2016.

For more details, please see the flyer here, or feel free to contact Eric Zogry.



Evalutations Prior to Adjudication:Legal Questions and Practical Impacts

In recent consultations our office has learned that some juveniles, prior to adjudication and sometimes prior to a petition being filed, are having evaluations performed.  Sometimes the evaluations are routine psychological evaluations.  In other instances, evaluations related to alleged abuse in the home are being performed, including when there have been accusations of sexual assault by the juvenile.  In none of these instances was an attorney involved or consulted.  This post will explore the potential legal pitfalls of pre-adjudication evaluations and what attorneys can do to minimize potential damage.  We will present future posts exploring confidentiality and privilege in detail and the intersection with pre-adjudication evaluations.

Pre-adjudication evaluation referrals may come from a number of sources:  law enforcement, social workers investigating allegations of abuse and/or neglect, or from the parents themselves looking for services.  But it appears that referrals may also come from juvenile justice.  The Juvenile Code is mostly silent as to whether an intake juvenile court counselor may recommend an evaluation, either informally or as part of a diversion plan or contract.  However, under NCGS 7B-1706, a juvenile may be referred to counseling, be under certain conditions and actions (as well as the parent) to successfully complete the contract, and any agency shall be notified if providing “treatment.”

It’s unclear whether intake counselors consider the possibility that information provided during evaluations may be used against the juvenile, either at adjudication or disposition.  NCGS 7B-2408 provides that “no statement made by a juvenile to the juvenile court counselor during the preliminary inquiry and evaluation process shall be admissible prior to the dispositional hearing.” However it is unlikely that this protection would automatically be extended to statements made during an evaluation that was requested by the court counselor.

Juvenile defenders should be aware of possible pre-adjudication statements, locate them, and shield their client from any negative impact that may arise from them.  First, ask your client and their parent or guardian whether or not the juvenile has been evaluated or screened either in relation to the case, or within a recent time before the juvenile was court involved.  Obtain copies of any documents from an evaluation through a signed release from the parent or guardian.  Review the documents for any incriminating or otherwise harmful information.  Check with the court counselor to see if she has received any information, and whether or not that information has been shared with the prosecutor.

If incriminating or harmful information is discovered, consider trying to limit or block the information.  Certain privileges exist by statute and evidentiary law that protects information between patients and mental health professionals.  File a motion in limine to prevent introduction of the information, or in the alternative, ask for an in camera inspection of the documents and ask the judge to remove or redact incriminating or harmful information.   You may also consider asking the judge to recuse him or herself after reviewing the information.

NC Division of Adult Corrections and Juvenile Justice Ends Juvenile Solitary Confinement

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety, Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice is ending its use of solitary confinement for its youngest inmates housed in its adult prisons system and is introducing a new youthful offender program that more appropriately and effectively focuses on the needs of these young people. This program was announced last week.  Further details about the Youthful Offender Program can be found here.

Upcoming Annual Juvenile Defender Training

The Office of the Juvenile Defender is very excited about the upcoming Annual Juvenile Defender Training this year! Details are below & we hope to see you there!


The UNC School of Government has announced that registration for the 2016 Juvenile Defender Conference is now open and available at (Juvenile Defender Conference). The conference is cosponsored by the School of Government and the Office of Indigent Defense Services, and offers six hours of CLE credit—including one hour of ethics/professional responsibility—and feature instructors from across the state. The agenda is posted on the conference webpage, shown above.


The Juvenile Defender Conference provides training for attorneys who represent children in delinquency proceedings. This year’s conference will focus on defending sex cases. It will include sessions on trial strategies, sex offender specific evaluations, the impact of the Sex Offender Notification Act (SORNA), and expunctions and confidentiality. A one hour ethics session is included as well.

Participants: The Juvenile Defender Conference is open to public defenders, appellate defenders, and other juvenile defenders.

Location, Dates, and Times: The conferenceswill be held Friday, August 12, at the School of Government on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. Sign-in is 8:00 to 8:45 a.m. each day.

Registration: To register, as well as to find directions, hotel information, and other program information (including our cancellation and refund policy), visit:

The registration deadline for the conference is 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 4.  There is no onsite registration.

Fee: Thanks to support from IDS, there is no fee for IDS state employees. The registration fee for private assigned counsel is $155, which includes all materials, parking, breaks, and lunch.

Credit: Each program will offer approximately six hours of continuing legal education (CLE) credit, including one hour of ethics/professional responsibility.  The Juvenile Defender Conference qualifies for NC State Bar criminal law specialization credit.

Additional Information: We look forward to seeing you in August.  If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact Danielle Rivenbark—Program Manager—at / 919.843.8981.  If you have questions about the course content please contact Austine Long – Program Attorney – at / 919.962.9594.


Fashioning Children: Gender Restrictive Dress Codes as an Entry Point for the Trans* School to Prison Pipeline by Deanna J. Glickman

Dress codes are a point of controversy within many school districts,raising questions of classism, racism, and conformity. For trans* students, that conformity may come at the cost of their gender identity, a cost which can cause negative reverberations throughout their life, including lowered academic performance, higher dropout rates, and increased disciplinary action. This article in the American University Washington College of Law Journal of Social Policy, Gender & the Law discusses the relationship between gender norms and dress codes, how gender-restrictive dress codes lead to targeting of trans* students, and how this targeting pushes students into the school to prison pipeline.

Author Deanna Glickman is a 2015 Gideon’s Promise Law School Partnership Project Fellow practicing in the Robeson County Public Defender’s Office.

For more information about juvenile defense, the celebration of In re Gault, and protecting the rights of LGBTQ youth, please see below:

gault at 50 pride month