Week in Review: October 7-11

Welcome back to another blog with OJD! Easy week with us, Eric & Austine took on Greensboro with an informative and necessary Raise the Age & Juvenile Basics CLE and the office is preparing vital information for our defenders as we get closer to the big day.

Friday Fact: Today, October 10, is #WorldMentalHealthDay .

According to The National Alliance on Mental Illness: 20% of youth ages 13-18 live w/ a #mentalhealth condition and 70% of youth in state & local juvenile justice systems have a mental illness.

These numbers show how important #juveniledefense is to our community and helping our youth live amazing lives, not ones tied down by the justice system. Take a moment to take care of you, while you take care of others. #WorldMentalHealthDay

TIP OF THE WEEK:

Contacting Your Client  

When contacting your client for the first time, you should use as many methods as feasible.  Send a letter to both the client and parent/guardian. Call to set up an appointment. And be sure to contact the intake counselor to make sure you have the correct contact information. If you aren’t able to meet before court, ask the court for a continuance. Building a relationship with your client and building your case can’t happen on the courthouse steps.

We are 51 days away from #RaiseTheAgeNC. It only took 100 years to get here (we mean that literally and sarcastically!)!

Last week OJD also attended the IDS Commission Meeting, and a new chair was elected, Mr. Darrin Jordan. Congratulations to you Mr. Jordan!

Here’s a few photos from the meeting:

Has your county, district or region attended a Raise the Age CLE? Need to brush up on your Juvenile Basics? Contact our office and Project Attorney, Austine Long, for a date near you.

That’s all we have for week 2 of October. Stay tuned for more information as we get closer to #RaiseTheAgeNC!

OJD Week in Review: October 1-5

Happy October! The first week of the month was pretty easy for OJD. We spent time preparing for RTA & Juvenile Basics CLE training in Greensboro (which is on October 10). Please reach out to our office if you’re interested in attending.

DEFENDERS PLEASE NOTE: “A quick reminder about fee applications…Any offense originally charged as a Class E through I felony disposed of in juvenile court after December 1, 2018 is paid at $60 per hour.   For more information about privately assigned counsel rates, click here.”

TIP OF THE WEEK:

No Cookie Cutter Dispositions!

Remember – disposition MUST be tailored to your specific client (§7B-2500) – don’t be afraid to argue against “cookie cutter” plans. For example – if your client has no known drug/alcohol history, why should s/he be subject to random drug screens as part of probation? Ask your client if s/he hunts – depending on the charge your client was adjudicated for, consider requesting the prohibition against weapons be waived if s/he is hunting with a responsible adult.

JOB OPPORTUNITY!

The Office of Indigent Services (IDS) is seeking a Legal Associate, direct reporting to the Deputy Director. Responsibilites include:

  • Review correspondence from clients and draft responses under direction of legal staff.
  • Assist office manager and Deputy Director in revising record retention policy and implementing digital record retention policy.
  • Manage IDS website content in coordination with Deputy Director, state defenders, fiscal staff, and IT director.

For a full description and to apply, visit here.

That’s it for this week. We hope you have a safe weekend, enjoy the upcoming fall weather if you already aren’t, and remember, we are on Twitter (@NCOJD) and Facebook (NC Office of the Juvenile Defender). See you Monday!

OJD Week in Review: September 23-27

Happy Friday Defenders! If only we could look as relaxed as this baby right? As we get close to the start date of Raise the Age, OJD is working hard to provide defenders with tangible, useful information to aid your juveniles and their case. Be on the lookout for just HOW OJD has you covered.

JOB OPPORTUNITY!

The Office of Indigent Services (IDS) is seeking a Legal Associate, direct reporting to the Deputy Director. Responsibilites include:

  • Review correspondence from clients and draft responses under direction of legal staff.
  • Assist office manager and Deputy Director in revising record retention policy and implementing digital record retention policy.
  • Manage IDS website content in coordination with Deputy Director, state defenders, fiscal staff, and IT director.

For a full description and to apply, visit here.

OJD OPPORTUNITY!

Tip of the Week:

Before You Plea

Talk your client about the impacts of an adjudication.  While not as public as adult criminal convictions, juvenile adjudications may impact the following: immigration status, educational placement, housing conditions, eligibility to play sports, placement on a sex offender registry (in NC or other states) and others.  Always consider the long-term consequences of what may first appear to be a short-term decision.

Spotlight Blog Post!

The School of Government released a blog written by, Jacquelyn Greene, regarding Raise the Age and additional changes to 7B. Yet another resource to guide you in the changes coming December 1, 2019. You can read her blog post here.

TRAINING!

This week, Eric traveled to Craven County and spoke with stakeholders and defenders regarding Raise the Age and Juvenile Justice Basics. Take a look at some of the photos!

Yesterday, Eric also hosted a Webinar regarding Juvenile Expunction.

What a week!

HAVE A SAFE WEEKEND!

OJD Week in Review: 09/16-09/20

This week has been an exciting time for OJD. Not ONLY was there training in Gaston County BUT OJD welcomed two employees into the office (who also trained in Gaston!). Keep reading for all the news.

Tip of the Week

Prior Record Level Matters

If your client’s prior record places him/her in a position for the judge to enter a level 1 OR 2 dispositional level, ALWAYS argue for a level 1 disposition. You can find a copy of the disposition chart here. Make sure to check the final written order for accuracy.

CASE NOTES

There were two new published opinions last month, one from the NC Supreme Court and the other from the Court of Appeals. In the Matter of T.T.E., decided by the Supreme Court, the Court reversed the Court of Appeals decision vacating the juvenile’s adjudication and disposition orders of disorderly conduct. Justice Earls wrote a lengthy dissent, which is worth reading.

In the Matter of J.B., the Court of Appeals, in a divided opinion, reversed the trial court’s adjudication and disposition orders for second degree sexual exploitation of a minor, first degree forcible sexual offense, and an attempted larceny admission. The Court also addressed the juvenile’s right to confrontation, the commitment of the juvenile to YDC, and confinement pending appeal. You can find the summary for In the Matter of T.T.E. here, and In the Matter of J.B. here.

Gaston County Training

Tuesday, September 17 OJD visited Gastonia, NC and provided essential training to defenders and legal teams regarding Raise the Age and Juvenile Defense Basics. Our Assistant Juvenile Defender Kim led Juvenile Basics while our NEW Project Attorney tackled all the information for Raise the Age.

Missed this CLE? Contact our office if you’re interested in attending or scheduling training for your county.

New Employees

Meet OJD’s new Project Attorney, Austine Long. Here’s a bit about her:

Before coming to join our office, she worked as a Program Attorney for at the UNC School of Government where she designed trainings for public defenders and private attorneys appointed to represent indigent clients. She also previously worked as the drug court coordinator for the Montgomery County Circuit Court Adult and Juvenile Drug Courts in Maryland. She has served as a project director at the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) and an assistant public defender for the 14th Judicial District in Durham, NC, where she handled only juvenile cases. For seven years prior to that, she was in private practice focusing on juvenile, family, and criminal law.

*Extra: Austine’s previous position is now seeking applicants. For more information visit: https://unc.peopleadmin.com/postings/168727

Meet OJD’s new Communications & Office Manager, LaTobia Avent. Here’s a bit about her:

Before taking her position with OJD, LaTobia worked in the private sector for 7 years at AT&T Mobility as a Supervisor. She graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with her Masters in Communications in 2019 and prior to that, she attended North Carolina A&T where she received her bachelors in English in 2011. She loves social media and connecting with the world, which is her goal with OJD, connecting defenders to vital information. Through her gained communication skills at AT&T and using her passion of social media, advocacy and all things human connection, she hopes to extend OJD’s reach to attorneys and justice fighters alike. Follow OJD on Facebook for just how she does it: Search “NC Office of the Juvenile Defender”

Have a GREAT weekend and BE SAFE!

Updated! A Week in Review with OJD: Sept 9-13

We missed last week, but we’re back with lots of information!

P.S. Some links were broken, so made a little update! Happy Friday!

Tip of the Week

All About The Records:

There is a universe of documented information about your client.  First, review and obtain copies of the clerks file, the official record of the court.  Get a copy of the NC Juvenile Online Information Network (NC-JOIN) file from the court counselor’s office.  You don’t need a court order for this (7B-3001(c)(1)) but we have a form to help expedite the request. Obtain a release form(s) from your client and the parent/guardian, and go hunting!  Educational records, mental health records, involvement with the Department of Social Service, placement records.  You may also consider housing or employment documentation if it helps your case.

CASE NOTES

There were two new published opinions last month, one from the NC Supreme Court and the other from the Court of Appeals. In the Matter of T.T.E., decided by the Supreme Court, the Court reversed the Court of Appeals decision vacating the juvenile’s adjudication and disposition orders of disorderly conduct. Justice Earls wrote a lengthy dissent, which is worth reading.

In the Matter of J.B., the Court of Appeals, in a divided opinion, reversed the trial court’s adjudication and disposition orders for second degree sexual exploitation of a minor, first degree forcible sexual offense, and an attempted larceny admission. The Court also addressed the juvenile’s right to confrontation, the commitment of the juvenile to YDC, and confinement pending appeal. You can find the summary for In the Matter of T.T.E. here, and In the Matter of J.B. here.

New Resources

Strategies for Youth, an organization bridging gaps and building relationships between law enforcement and youth, has a BRAND NEW website filled with information and resources on the intersection of police and youth. Visit their page, see the new updates and gain valuable information all at the same time.

National News

Liz Ryan recently published a Newsweek article regarding the impact of starting the conversation about juvenile justice in the ongoing political race. She writes

With strong leadership at the federal level, we can do more for the youth in our communities and finally end youth incarceration. And while many of the most prevalent issues on the debate stage are contentious, there’s widespread support for reforming our youth justice system. According to a national poll by GBA Strategies, Americans overwhelmingly support a shift away from our justice system’s reliance on youth prisons and instead support serving youth through community-based care.

Comment on this post and let us know your thoughts on how the juvenile justice system could benefit from a fight on the national stage. To read the full article, visit here.

DON’T FORGET!

The National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) recently released Juvenile Defense Resources, a mobile app available in the Apple Store and Google Play Store. Through the mobile app, juvenile defense attorneys can access sample motions, reports, issues briefs, policy statements, checklists, and other helpful tools to grow their legal, advocacy, and leadership skills, and to improve the practice of lawyers that represent young people. There’s also a policy brief on detention and money bail.

The National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) released a new toolkit, A Right to Liberty: Resources for Challenging the Detention of Children.

Ensuring a child or young person remains out of detention prior to trial safeguards their right to liberty and the presumption of innocence. The resources contained in this toolkit can be used to uphold and advance children’s liberty interests at the individual level and in policy advocacy.  Though NC does not have money bail for juveniles, the toolkit provides helpful strategies for arguing for your clients’ release from detention.

Included in the toolkit are:

  • A Right to Liberty: The Origin of Bail
  • Annotated Bibliography on Risks Associated with Incarceration
  • Sample Habeas Petition Challenging the Pretrial Detention of Children

This resource is accessible by clicking here. The Sample Habeas Petition is accessible by clicking here.

ONE LAST THING….

How do you like the new webpage? Want us to go back to the old color scheme? Have ideas for the website?

Comment and let us know!

OJD Week in Review: August 26-30

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School’s Back

As students return to school, defenders may want to check out the OJD website for tips on defending students charged at school.  Under Materials for Defenders you can find a list of Materials by Training Subject.  Check out “School Related Issues” and “Special Education” topics.

New Resources

NJDC App

njdc app

The National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) recently released Juvenile Defense Resources, a mobile app available in the Apple Store and Google Play Store, which provides juvenile defense attorneys with helpful resources to defend young people in delinquency cases. Through the mobile app, juvenile defense attorneys can access sample motions, reports, issues briefs, policy statements, checklists, and other helpful tools to grow their legal, advocacy, and leadership skills, and to improve the practice of lawyers that represent young people.

To access the mobile app, juvenile defense attorneys can search “Juvenile Defense Resources” or “National Juvenile Defender Center” in the search box within their respective application stores and install the app (see photo for reference). In order to sign up to access the app, prospective members must certify that they are currently representing youth in delinquency court, and will be directed to create a username and password unique to each member. You may sign up directly through the mobile app or through NJDC’s website, via the login button on NJDC’S homepage or directly at this link.

Please note that the mobile app is password protected and you will not be able to access the resources until your request for access has been approved. Please allow up to three (3) business days for your request to be approved.

Over the next few weeks, NJDC will continue to build the database of resources available through the mobile app. If you have any questions or run into any technical issues when trying to sign up or access the mobile app, or the resources contained within, please contact NJDC’s 2017-2019 Gault Fellow, Aneesa Khan, at akhan@njdc.info for assistance.

Detention Toolkit

njdc right to liberty (2)

The National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) has released a new toolkit, A Right to Liberty: Resources for Challenging the Detention of Children.

Ensuring a child or young person remains out of detention prior to trial safeguards their right to liberty and the presumption of innocence. The resources contained in this toolkit can be used to uphold and advance children’s liberty interests at the individual level and in policy advocacy.  Though NC does not have money bail for juveniles, the toolkit provides helpful strategies for arguing for your clients’ release from detention.

Included in the toolkit are:

  • A Right to Liberty: The Origin of Bail
  • Annotated Bibliography on Risks Associated with Incarceration
  • Sample Habeas Petition Challenging the Pretrial Detention of Children

This resource is accessible by clicking here. The Sample Habeas Petition is accessible by clicking here.