OJD Week in Review: July 23 – 27

And… we’re back to another Friday!  There is little news for this week with the exception of one new training opportunity and one new resource, but mostly reminders.

New Resource

In partnership with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ), the National Juvenile Defender Center released “Addressing Bias in Delinquency and Child Welfare Systems, a bench card emphasizing that “eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in juvenile and family courts is critical to creating a fair and equitable system of justice for all youth.”  This tool is meant to educate juvenile and family court judges about structural, explicit, and implicit bias, providing judges with self-reflection tools to help them recognize and prevent bias in their courtroom and offer concrete strategies to correct implicit bias.

Training

Registration is now open for the 2018 Misdemeanor Defender Training, which will take place at the UNC-Chapel Hill campus from Sept. 18 – 21.  This training, cosponsored by the Office of Indigent Defense Services and the School of Government, will be an introductory program for attorneys who are new to handling misdemeanor cases and will offer 21.5 CLE credit hours, including one hour of ethics/professional responsibility credit and qualifies for criminal law specialization credit.  Attendees can expect sessions that will cover topics such as impaired driving, probation violations, ethical issues in district court, and much more.  The registration deadline will be 5 p.m. on Aug. 30 and the deadline for the hotel block will be Aug. 28.  There will be no onsite registration.  The fee for privately assigned counsel will be $560, but the program will be free for IDS state employees.  There is a new online registration system being used that will require first-time users to create an account, but if any issues should arise, please contact registration@sog.unc.edu/919.966.4414 or check the FAQ page.  For further questions contact either Tanya Jisa or Phil Dixon,Jr.

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Registration is open for the 2018 Parent Attorney and Juvenile Defender Conferences until 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3.  The Parent Attorney Conference will be held Thursday, August 16, and Juvenile Defender Conference will be held Friday, August 17.  Both conferences, cosponsored by the School of Government and the Office of Indigent Defense Services, will be held at the School of Government on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus, offer approximately six hours of CLE credit, and feature speakers from across the state.  The conferences are free for IDS state employees but there is a $165 registration fee for privately assigned counsel.  You can register and find further details regarding the Parent Attorney Conference here, or go here for the Juvenile Defender Conference.  For any questions about the conference, please contact Tanya Jisa, or for questions about the course content, please contact Austine Long.

Save the Date!  The Bridging The Gap III Seminar will be in Winston-Salem September 20-21, 2018.  Participants in this seminar will be awarded 10.25 CLE credit hours, including 1.5 credit hours in ethics, professional responsibility and professionalism.  The registration fee is $115.00.  The focus of this seminar will be on client and family relations, and pretrial resolution.  Registration and hotel information will be published in early July.  A block of 40 rooms will be available once the registration is published.  For an attorney to attend he or she must have at least 7 years’ experience.  The “ gap” in Bridging The Gap describes lawyers who have never taken murder cases and are considering taking them on, and lawyers who have taken non-capital murder cases and are considering taking capital cases.  The seminar, hosted by the Office of the Capital Defender, focuses on issues relevant to both non-capital and capital murder cases.  If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Terry Alford.

Job /Funding Opportunity

The Governor’s Crime Commission is soliciting proposals to conduct an assessment study of specific aspects of disproportionate minority contact within the state’s juvenile justice system.  The award will be in the range of $50,000 to $100,000 for a six-month period.  Interested parties can download a copy of the Request for Proposal (RFP) document hereProposals will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 6.  For additional information, please check out the GCC website, or if you have questions, contact Lead Juvenile Justice Planner Carlotta Winstead by email or call 919-733-4564.

The National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) is currently seeking a research manager.  The ideal candidate will have at least 5 years of experience, a commitment to advancing improvements in juvenile defense policy and practice, a love of research, writing, and critical thinking, and an eagerness to build a career at the intersection of youth justice and social change.  The selected candidate will be responsible for developing and executing research efforts to advance NJDC’s mission, and strengthening the empirical qualities and evaluating the impact of NJDC’s work on the community.  This position will remain open until filled.  For more information please check here.

Mr. Bean Resume Found

The Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) in Massachusetts is currently accepting applications for a Deputy Chief Counsel of the Private Counsel Division, who is a member of the senior management team that develops and implements fiscal, operational, human resource, and legislative policies.  The Private Counsel Division is responsible for delivering legal services to indigent clients through assigned private attorneys in criminal defense trial and post-conviction cases as well as commitment and registration cases for persons convicted of sex offenses.  Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.  For more info please check here.

The Southern Coalition for Social Justice still has an opening for an executive director.   The ideal candidate will have strong organizational, communication, and leadership skills, a demonstrated passion for social and racial justice, and experience in developing successful relationships in diverse communities.  For the full job description, please check the post here, and to apply please send all queries here.

That is all for this week!  We will have more news in the future, so check back soon.

OJD Week in Review: July 16 – 20

Congratulations on making it to the end of another week!   And this has been another eventful week, so there is a bit of new content to be shared once again.

New Resource

On our “Materials for Defenders” page, we’ve added the documents from the “2018 Advocating for Youth Charged with First Degree Murder” training.  You can review the info from this March training under the “Training Material – Listed by Training Program” section.

From Around the Community

RTAThe Office of the Juvenile Defender (OJD) will be hosting a Regional Raise the Age Information Meeting in Asheville on today, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.  The event will be held in the Jury Assembly, Room 272, of the Judicial Complex (60 Court Plaza, Asheville, N.C. 28801).  As with the previous  regional information meetings, all juvenile defenders, especially those in Buncombe and its surrounding counties, are invited to attend.  We will discuss the Raise the Age law, OJD’s plan in response to it, and what issues should be addressed going forward.  This will be a discussion, so please bring any of your questions, comments, and concerns about Raise the Age.  If you have questions prior to the meeting, please contact Marcus Thompson by email or call us 919-890-1650.

Today is the last day for late & onsite registration of the 81st Annual National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges Conference .  The event this year will take place at the Hyatt Regency Denver at the Colorado Convention Center from July 22 – 25.  The conference will offer presentations/training tracks on  topics such as family law, juvenile justice, child welfare, and family violence.  This conference is judicially-focused and open to all those interested in the improvement of juvenile and family justice.  For registration and further info, please visit the NCJFCJ website hereLaToya Powell headshot

We would like to bring attention to a recent post on the UNC School of Government blog regarding threats and false reports of mass violence.  In this post, Jamie Markham discusses sections 1 and 2 of House Bill 670, specifically touching on the ambiguity of the new conditional discharge.

Also, if you haven’t checked it out already, please take a moment to read our discussion on school-justice partnerships with LaToya Powell.  This Q&A covers what school-justice partnerships are and the potential benefits and challenges we may see once the programs are implemented.

Job /Funding Opportunity

The Governor’s Crime Commission is soliciting proposals to conduct an assessment study of specific aspects of disproportionate minority contact within the state’s juvenile justice system.  The award will be in the range of $50,000 to $100,000 for a six-month period.  Interested parties can download a copy of the Request for Proposal (RFP) document hereProposals will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 6.  For additional information, please check out the GCC website, or if you have questions, contact Lead Juvenile Justice Planner Carlotta Winstead by email or call 919-733-4564.

The National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) is currently seeking a research manager.  The ideal candidate will have at least 5 years of experience, a commitment to advancing improvements in juvenile defense policy and practice, a love of research, writing, and critical thinking, and an eagerness to build a career at the intersection of youth justice and social change.  The selected candidate will be responsible for developing and executing research efforts to advance NJDC’s mission, and strengthening the empirical qualities and evaluating the impact of NJDC’s work on the community.  This position will remain open until filled.  For more information please check here.

The Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) in Massachusetts is currently accepting applications for a Deputy Chief Counsel of the Private Counsel Division, who is a member of the senior management team that develops and implements fiscal, operational, human resource, and legislative policies.  The Private Counsel Division is responsible for delivering legal services to indigent clients through assigned private attorneys in criminal defense trial and post-conviction cases as well as commitment and registration cases for persons convicted of sex offenses.  Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.  For more info please check here.

SCSJ

The Southern Coalition for Social Justice still has an opening for an executive director.   The ideal candidate will have strong organizational, communication, and leadership skills, a demonstrated passion for social and racial justice, and experience in developing successful relationships in diverse communities.  For the full job description, please check the post here, and to apply please send all queries here.

Training

Registration is open for the 2018 Parent Attorney and Juvenile Defender Conferences until 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3.  The Parent Attorney Conference will be held Thursday, August 16, and Juvenile Defender Conference will be held Friday, August 17.  Both conferences, cosponsored by the School of Government and the Office of Indigent Defense Services, will be held at the School of Government on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus, offer approximately six hours of CLE credit, and feature speakers from across the state.  The conferences are free for IDS state employees but there is a $165 registration fee for privately assigned counsel.  You can register and find further details regarding the Parent Attorney Conference here, or go here for the Juvenile Defender Conference.  For any questions about the conference, please contact Tanya Jisa, or for questions about the course content, please contact Austine Long.

every-day-is-training-day

Save the Date!  The Bridging The Gap III Seminar will be in Winston-Salem September 20-21, 2018.  Participants in this seminar will be awarded 10.25 CLE credit hours, including 1.5 credit hours in ethics, professional responsibility and professionalism.  The registration fee is $115.00.  The focus of this seminar will be on client and family relations, and pretrial resolution.  Registration and hotel information will be published in early July.  A block of 40 rooms will be available once the registration is published.  For an attorney to attend he or she must have at least 7 years’ experience.  The “ gap” in Bridging The Gap describes lawyers who have never taken murder cases and are considering taking them on, and lawyers who have taken non-capital murder cases and are considering taking capital cases.  The seminar, hosted by the Office of the Capital Defender, focuses on issues relevant to both non-capital and capital murder cases.  If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Terry Alford.

Thank you for joining us this week!  We have more news and features planned for the future, so check back soon.

OJD Spotlight: A Discussion on School-Justice Partnerships with LaToya Powell

As we observe and prepare for the full implementation of North Carolina’s plan to raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction, there are some elements of the new legislation that are worth highlighting, one of those being the mandate for school-justice partnerships.  The Office of the Juvenile Defender had the pleasure of sitting down with LaToya Powell to discuss the roll-out of the school-justice partnership project.

Office of the Juvenile Defender: Thank you for taking the time to be here with us today, LaToya.  Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your background in juvenile justice.

LaToya Powell: I have been working in the area of juvenile justice since I graduated law school in 2005.  First, as a prosecutor in Johnston County, then as an appellate attorney with the Attorney General’s Office where I handled juvenile delinquency appeals for the State.  After that, I worked as a law professor at the UNC School of Government, where I trained and advised North Carolina public officials, including juvenile court judges, prosecutors, juvenile defenders, and lawmakers.  Currently, I am with the Office of General Counsel at the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) where I work as the Assistant Legal Counsel responsible for addressing juvenile delinquency issues and policy changes like Raise the Age.

LaToya Powell headshotOJD:  What are school-justice partnerships?

LP:  A school-justice partnership is exactly what it says.  It’s a partnership between the schools and the courts and other community stakeholders, like law enforcement and juvenile justice, designed to reduce the school-to-prison pipeline.  The school-to-prison pipeline is what happens when schools rely heavily on exclusionary discipline, like suspensions, expulsions, and referring kids to court, to address minor misconduct in school.  We know from Juvenile Justice data that close to 50 percent of petitions are based on misconduct that happens at schools.  Ninety-four percent of those cases are minor misdemeanors, like simple assault, misdemeanor larceny, and disorderly conduct, such as a kid being disruptive in class or yelling at a teacher.  What we know from evidence is that when kids are referred to court, they are more likely to drop out of school, they are more likely to engage in future misconduct and they are more likely to be charged as an adult.  So not only does it produce negative outcomes for the students, but it also makes schools and communities less safe because it increases recidivism.

Rather than push kids out of school, school-justice partnerships keep kids in school where they have better outcomes.  And as a result of Raise the Age, we now have a directive from the Legislature to the Director of the AOC to create policies and procedures to expand school-justice partnerships throughout North Carolina.

OJD:  What results are you hoping to see from the expansion of school-justice partnerships?

LP:  What we would hope to see is a reduction in the number of school-based referrals that go to the court system, and as a result of that, better outcomes for students—greater academic achievement, lower dropout rates, increased graduation rates, safer schools—those are the main goals for this partnership.  Another thing that we hope to see is less disproportionality in the way that school discipline is administered because the school-to-prison pipeline has a disparate impact on certain groups of students, primarily students of color and disabled students.

OJD:  What questions or problems do you anticipate for these programs?

LP:  The biggest problem or obstacle that we anticipate is the lack of resources for schools that need to be able to address disruptive students without the need to suspend them or send them to court.  There are many counties in our state that have lots of programs, community-based and school-based, that support students who are misbehaving at school, but other counties are not so fortunate.  They don’t have as many resources or tools to help their teachers who have a classroom of 30 or more kids.  Often times, all they have is a school resource officer who they can ask “Can you help me with this kid who is disturbing my classroom?” So, we hope to see more funding to create additional programs that will serve this population of students.

We know that some of our counties have things like restorative justice programs, Teen Court programs, and other diversion programs that are very successful and produce really great results for children.  The Juvenile Jurisdiction Advisory Committee (JJAC), which is monitoring the implementation of Raise the Age, has requested additional resources from the Legislature to fund diversion programs for these school-justice partnerships.  Also, the AOC is creating a school-justice partnership toolkit that provides guidance on how to create and implement a school-justice partnership.

OJD:  How many counties in N.C. are currently implementing school-justice partnership programs and have there been any measurable levels of success?

LP:  To my knowledge there are at least six counties that currently have school-justice partnerships and several others are in the process of creating them.  New Hanover County established its school-justice partnership about two years ago under the leadership of Chief District Court Judge J. Corpening and under its model, schools use graduated responses to address minor misconduct.  A graduated response model is a tiered system of sanctions that essentially gives the child a second chance to get it right.  So, instead of a student immediately being arrested and charged the first time he or she gets into a fight, the school will first try to address the misconduct without resorting to exclusionary discipline.  For example, a teacher might reprimand the student or require the student to do an assignment that relates to the behavior.  And then the next time the student misbehaves, the school might refer the student to a program or a behavioral specialist at the school.  Under the graduated response model, a child would have to receive at least two graduated responses before a referral to court can be made.  As a result of this school-justice partnership, New Hanover County has reduced school-based referrals by 47 percent.

OJD:  What other solutions would you propose to derail the school-to-prison pipeline?

LP:  I think this project is going to help lots of children in North Carolina avoid contact with the juvenile justice system.  And that is really important, not just for our kids but also for our schools and our communities.  By reducing the population of students who are being referred to court for minor misconduct that happens at school, it will increase the capacity of the juvenile court system to serve the older population of juveniles, 16- and 17-year-olds, who will soon become a part of that system.  The successful implementation of Raise the Age is an important step in reducing the school to prison pipeline.

OJD:  How can people learn more about school-justice partnerships in North Carolina?

LP:  For more information about School Justice Partnership North Carolina, please visit SJP.nccourts.gov.

OJD Week in Review: July 9 – 13

Welcome back for the weekly roundup!   This has been one of our most eventful weeks, specifically on our blog, in some time.  We will rehash some of the content we’ve posted here, and also note there are some deadlines approaching in the next few weeks for event registration and job/funding opportunities.

Additionally, while the time to register has passed, check out our brief Q&A with Youth Justice Project Co-Director Ricky Watson, Jr. regarding the National Juvenile Justice Network‘s 2018 Forum, which starts Monday, July 16!  You can see what Ricky had to say us about the Forum here.

New Resource

cropped-whiteojd.pngEarlier this week the Office of the Juvenile Defender (OJD) posted two new resources for juvenile defense attorneys on our site.

The first was a Quick Tips Strategy Sheet to assist attorneys with getting charges reduced or diverting juveniles charged with making a false report concerning mass violence on educational property.  This document was composed to address the increase of juveniles being charged with such felonies since the Parkland school tragedy.  To review the article, please check it out here.

The second resource was a breakdown of the JWise Attorney Access (JAA), which was a database that, as a result of the Raise the Age legislation, is now accessible to juvenile defense attorneys!   This post explains what JAA is, how attorneys can gain access, the benefit to attorneys, and where to find assistance should you encounter any issues.  To read this article, please check it out here.

From Around the Community

RTAThe Office of the Juvenile Defender (OJD) will be hosting a Regional Raise the Age Information Meeting in Asheville on Friday, July 20, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.  The event will be held in the Jury Assembly, Room 272, of the Judicial Complex (60 Court Plaza, Asheville, N.C. 28801).  As with the previous  regional information meetings, all juvenile defenders, especially those in Buncombe and its surrounding counties, are invited to attend.  We will discuss the Raise the Age law, OJD’s plan in response to it, and what issues should be addressed going forward.  This will be a discussion, so please bring any of your questions, comments, and concerns about Raise the Age.  If you have questions prior to the meeting, please contact Marcus Thompson by email or call us 919-890-1650.

Late & onsite registration will still be available for the 81st Annual National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges Conference until Friday, July 20.  The event this year will take place at the Hyatt Regency Denver at the Colorado Convention Center from July 22 – 25.  The conference will offer presentations/training tracks on  topics such as family law, juvenile justice, child welfare, and family violence.  This conference is judicially-focused and open to all those interested in the improvement of juvenile and family justice.  For registration and further info, please visit the NCJFCJ website here.

Job /Funding Opportunity

The Governor’s Crime Commission is soliciting proposals to conduct an assessment study of specific aspects of disproportionate minority contact within the state’s juvenile justice system.  The award will be in the range of $50,000 to $100,000 for a six-month period.  Interested parties can download a copy of the Request for Proposal (RFP) document hereProposals will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 6.  For additional information, please check out the GCC website, or if you have questions, contact Lead Juvenile Justice Planner Carlotta Winstead by email or call 919-733-4564.

The National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) is currently seeking a research manager.  The ideal candidate will have at least 5 years of experience, a commitment to advancing improvements in juvenile defense policy and practice, a love of research, writing, and critical thinking, and an eagerness to build a career at the intersection of youth justice and social change.  The selected candidate will be responsible for developing and executing research efforts to advance NJDC’s mission, and strengthening the empirical qualities and evaluating the impact of NJDC’s work on the community.  This position will remain open until filled.  For more information please check here.

The Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) in Massachusetts is currently accepting applications for a Deputy Chief Counsel of the Private Counsel Division, who is a member of the senior management team that develops and implements fiscal, operational, human resource, and legislative policies.  The Private Counsel Division is responsible for delivering legal services to indigent clients through assigned private attorneys in criminal defense trial and post-conviction cases as well as commitment and registration cases for persons convicted of sex offenses.  Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.  For more info please check here.

SCSJ

The Southern Coalition for Social Justice still has an opening for an executive director.   The ideal candidate will have strong organizational, communication, and leadership skills, a demonstrated passion for social and racial justice, and experience in developing successful relationships in diverse communities.  For the full job description, please check the post here, and to apply please send all queries here.

 

Training

Registration is now open for the 2018 Parent Attorney and Juvenile Defender Conferences.  The Parent Attorney Conference will be held Thursday, August 16, and Juvenile Defender Conference will be held Friday, August 17.  Both conferences, cosponsored by the School of Government and the Office of Indigent Defense Services, will be held at the School of Government on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus, offer approximately six hours of CLE credit, and feature speakers from across the state.  Attendees must register for both conferences separately and the deadline for registration will be August 3 at 5 p.m.  The conferences are free for IDS state employees but there is a $165 registration fee for privately assigned counsel.  You can register and find further details regarding the Parent Attorney Conference here, or go here for the Juvenile Defender Conference.  For any questions about the conference, please contact Tanya Jisa, or for questions about the course content, please contact Austine Long.

every-day-is-training-day

Save the Date!  The Bridging The Gap III Seminar will be in Winston-Salem September 20-21, 2018.  Participants in this seminar will be awarded 10.25 CLE credit hours, including 1.5 credit hours in ethics, professional responsibility and professionalism.  The registration fee is $115.00.  The focus of this seminar will be on client and family relations, and pretrial resolution.  Registration and hotel information will be published in early July.  A block of 40 rooms will be available once the registration is published.  For an attorney to attend he or she must have at least 7 years’ experience.  The “ gap” in Bridging The Gap describes lawyers who have never taken murder cases and are considering taking them on, and lawyers who have taken non-capital murder cases and are considering taking capital cases.  The seminar, hosted by the Office of the Capital Defender, focuses on issues relevant to both non-capital and capital murder cases.  If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Terry Alford.

Thank you for making it to the end of this week in review.  We have more news and features planned for the coming weeks, so please visit us again soon!

JWISE Attorney Access

What is JWise Attorney Access?

As mandated in the Raise the Age legislation, as of July 1st, juvenile defenders now have access to the juvenile delinquency index known as JWise!  For those not familiar, JWise is the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) database where clerks enter court-related information about juvenile cases.  Most of the information is case status, such as adjudications, dispositions, and other hearings.  While JWise includes data from Abuse, Neglect and Dependency proceeds, attorneys will only have access to juvenile delinquency cases where they have a client with an open case.  This access is read-only.  Note also that the clerk’s file, not JWise, is the official record of the court.

How Will the Access Improve My Practice?

JWise will allow attorneys quick access to basic, essential information about the status of their clients’ cases.  While attorneys should still be reviewing the clerk’s file for more detail about their clients, JWise may offer quick answers to questions regarding court hearings.  In addition, attorneys will be able to see information about a client’s case in another jurisdiction if it’s transferred.  Note that not all counties will have the same data, as some fields are mandatory and some are not.

How Do I Get Access to JWise?

All staff of the public defender offices and privately assigned counsel with a bar number will have access to this tool, but access must first be requested through AOC using the form provided here.  Once the form is filled out, is must be faxed to AOC (not the clerk’s office) for activation.  Once access is granted, both privately assigned counsel and public defenders may log into JWise using the link here.  Public defenders also have the option to access the database via Juno.

What If I Need Assistance?

For attorneys who may be unfamiliar with JWise, AOC has created a 15-minute video walkthrough to better explain how to use and access it, which can be viewed here.   If you encounter any technical issues with the system, please contact the AOC Help Desk at 919-890-2407.  If there are any substantive questions, attorneys should feel free to contact the Office of the Juvenile Defender.

New Resource: Making A False Report Concerning Mass Violence on Educational Property

In light of the Parkland school tragedy, it seems that there has been an increase in juveniles being charged with the felony of “Making a False Report Concerning Mass Violence on Educational Property.”  In many of the cases we’ve been made aware of, there has not been much interest in reducing the charge made in the petition, or of diverting the juvenile.  As a result, we’ve created a Quick Tips Strategy Sheet that we hope will be helpful.  For future reference, this strategy can also be found under the “School-Related Issues” section on our “Training Material – Listed by Subject” page.  If you have any suggestions or feedback, we’d love to hear from you!

Also be aware that the General Assembly passed HB 670, which created a new crime – “Communicating a threat of mass violence on educational property.”  This is a Class H felony, unlike the Class 1 misdemeanor Communicating Threats.  The same definitions that are found in N.C.G.S. §14-277.5 apply in the new N.C.G.S. §14-277.6.  This new law is effective for offenses committed on our after December 1, 2019.

 

Register for the National Juvenile Justice Network 2018 Forum Today!

Starting Monday, July 16, the National Juvenile Justice Network will be hosting its 2018 Forum in Durham, N.C. at the  Duke University School of Law (210 Science Dr, Durham, NC 27708).  Registration for this three-day event, co-hosted by the Youth Justice Project of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice and Duke Children’s Law Clinicwill end today.  For those of you interested, but still on the fence about registering, we did a short Q&A with Youth Justice Project Co-Director Ricky Watson, Jr. about what attendees can expect.

Office of the Juvenile Defender:  What is the benefit for both members and nonmembers in attending this forum?

Ricky Watson:  Forum is a great opportunity for both members and non-members to come together to build strength, community, and knowledge.  Before attending Forum, I had never connected with so many advocates doing this work across the country.  The value in attending Forum extends far beyond the annual gathering.  It is one of the best opportunities an advocate can have to make lasting connections with people you can rely on while doing the work.

OJD:  In the past, what has been one of the most memorable experiences for you as a participant/host?

RW:  One of the most memorable experiences I’ve had as a participant in Forum was having the opportunity to listen to youth organizers speak to members of Forum.  They posed genuine questions to our group of advocates about why we do the work we do.  The conversation was passionate and thoughtful and many walked away with a strong reminder of how to approach youth advocacy.

OJD:  In ten words or less, how would you describe your feelings/expectations for this year’s event?

RW:  I am excited to welcome youth advocates to my home.

Police Platform

Thanks, Ricky!  And to our readers, registration for the Forum ends soon!  Please don’t miss out on this fun networking and training event for juvenile justice advocates!