Who are the true heroes of the children who are cast into the juvenile justice system? In large part, it is the defense attorneys who champion them through their time in the justice system. And what every great hero needs is… A sidekick! And OJD fills this role while also championing the rights of youth in the courts as well. It sounds cheesy, but hear us out…
The N.C. Office of the Juvenile Defender’s main mission is to provide support and services for defense attorneys and to work with other juvenile justice actors to promote positive change in the juvenile justice system. OJD works to not only ensure the child’s right to counsel, but to also improve the quality of counsel they receive. OJD desires to make sure that every child has access to quality legal counsel throughout their time in the juvenile justice system.
As part of our office’s role as “the sidekick” in support of the many juvenile defense attorneys across North Carolina, OJD wants to make sure that the heroes on the ground are appropriately equipped with all of the resources needed to do an exceptional job. In order for defense attorneys to save the futures of the kids they represent, sometimes a little help goes a long way, and we are always ready whenever they call.
As “the sidekick”, OJD provides training (i.e. CLE trainings) and provides information for defenders (i.e. reference materials, sample motions and briefs) who are protecting the rights of juveniles in the system. OJD also aids in compiling the research and evaluating the data to improve the system of juvenile justice as well.
OJD desires to ensure that each champion for these children is also specially trained to work with juveniles, communicate appropriately, and be respectful of cultural differences. Public defenders are not limited to a specific group, but work to champion all juveniles, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation. Often children are at risk of having their constitutional rights violated, however OJD works with diverse upholders of juvenile rights and seeks resources to help them alleviate the concerns of the ones they protect.
OJD is always seeking talented individuals to partner with who possess a variety of expertise in working in the juvenile justice system and leadership skills. We have fantastic leaders in the field, and are constantly looking to expand our state roster of trainers, mentors and writers. So don’t be surprised if an opportunity comes your way soon!
No tights or capes needed. OJD is a champion for juvenile defenders, the youth they represent, and a sidekick for any advocate of juveniles in the justice system. We want to make sure that our heroes are always at their best.