Chief Justice Beasley and Governor Cooper Announce School Justice Partnership Initiative
This past Monday Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, Governor Roy Cooper, and public officials from across the state representing schools, law enforcement, courts and juvenile justice joined together in Guilford County to announce the official release of the School Justice Partnership (SJP) Toolkit. The SJP Toolkit is a collaborative resource for stakeholder meetings to address offenses emanating from school behavior that are processed in the juvenile and criminal court system . For more information click here.
It’s August, and things can get a little slow at OJD, but we do have a few highlights for you. Hope to see folks at the Annual Conference today!
Tip of the Week
Transcript of Admission Tips
Filling out a transcript of admission on any admission of a new offense is important for several reasons. It memorializes the record of admission in writing if subject to an appeal. Reviewing the transcript with your client helps your client better understand the admission and the rights s/he is asserting or waiving. Make sure you complete the transcript with your client present and do so in a confidential space. Consider making a copy of the transcript to keep at the attorney table to help your client answer questions. Stand with your client when the court asks your client the listed questions and be prepared to confer with your client if any issues arise.
If you missed it, check out out Guest Blogger: David Andrews, Office of the Appellate Defender
Also, if you haven’t, check out IDS’ Facebook page, full of great information, in particular the personal testimonies of public defenders, and follow IDS on Twitter.
Yes and no. While there is no exact corollary to a motion for appropriate relief (MAR) in juvenile court, N.C.G.S. §7B-2600 provides for a hearing on a motion for the court to review an order of the court is in the best interests of the juvenile. As a result, the court may modify or vacate the order in light of changes in circumstances or the needs of the juvenile. Subsection (b) specifically refers to delinquency and states that “the court may reduce the nature or the duration of the disposition on the basis that it was imposed in an illegal manner or is unduly severe with reference to the seriousness of the offense, the culpability of the juvenile, or the dispositions given to juveniles convicted of similar offenses.”
Senate 413 is now law! Governor Cooper signed the bill yesterday. This should make the RTA substantive law final and ready to go for December 1. Stay tuned for updates on training opportunities, resources, and other materials.
The Juvenile Jurisdiction Advisory Committee (JJAC) met this week. As the body empowered by the General Assembly to monitor and review the implementation of Raise the Age, the JJAC reviewed the status of RTA legislation and budget negotiations, received an update of School Justice Partnerships and filing processes, reviewed Juvenile Crime Prevention Council allocations, and discussed whether to explore recommendation of raising the minimum age of juvenile jurisdiction. More information about the meeting may be found here.
Speaking of School Justice Partnerships, be sure to check out Chief Justice Cherie Beasley discussing this innovation here.
From Our National Partners:
Six Policy Priorities for Juvenile Defense | National Juvenile Defense Standards: Why Juvenile Defense Doesn’t End in the Courtroom
Juvenile defenders can and should play a vital role in policy and justice system reform — and advocates can partner with them to accomplish significant changes that affect youth in the court room and beyond.
This policy update draws on new best practice standards created by the National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) with support from Models for Change for juvenile defense attorneys. In addition to the standards themselves, the NJDC also calls on defenders to take action toward broad systemic reform, and encourages advocates to collaborate in these areas:
Ensure early access to counsel.
Establish a presumption of indigence for all youth.
Prevent invalid waiver of counsel.
Challenge disparate treatment and discrimination.
Ensure resources and manageable caseloads for juvenile defenders.
Identify and eliminate harmful conditions of confinement
We’re hiring for a new Communications and Office Manager! Duties include responsible for defining and executing a social media strategy, including maintaining and updating the juvenile defender website, Twitter feed, Facebook page, and other social media; maintaining a list of juvenile defense counsel statewide including privately assigned counsel, contractors, public defenders, and clinics; identifying new juvenile defenders and create and update information packages for new defenders; assisting with the development of new technologies/platforms for providing legal education; providing general office support and management.
For a complete list of duties and details about the position, click here for the posting.
Tip of the Week – Searches Not on School Property
While an earlier tip referred to searches on school property as involving a lower standard, searches of juveniles not on school property are governed by a “reasonable juvenile standard.” Specifically, In the matter of I.R.T., 184 N.C. App. 579, 647 S.E.2d 129 (2007) held that the age of a juvenile is a relevant factor in determining whether a reasonable person would feel free to leave upon being stopped by law enforcement.
Senate Bill 413, which includes recommendations from the Juvenile Jurisdiction Advisory Committee, has passed the House and is being sent back to the Senate for concurrence. It is on the Senate Calendar for Monday, July 22. Once the bill is final, we’ll be sure to get a breakdown on the OJD site and of course will be included in the upcoming training materials. The budget bill with RTA funding was passed and then vetoed by the governor. Both the House and the Senate have proposed supplemental budget bills, with the House bill including some RTA funding, but there is currently no version agreed upon by both chambers.
Registration is now open for the 2019 Parent Attorney and Juvenile Defender conferences. The Parent Attorney Conference will be held Thursday, Aug. 8 and the Juvenile Defender Conference will be held Friday, Aug. 9, and both would begin at 8:30 a.m. each day. 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, and offer approximately six hours of CLE credit. The Parent Attorney Conference provides training for attorneys, who represent parents in abuse, neglect, dependency, and termination of parental rights proceedings. The Juvenile Defender Conference provides training for attorneys who represent children in delinquency proceedings. Please feel free to download the Juvenile Defender Conference agenda here and the Parent Attorney Conference agenda here. If you have any questions, please contact Program Manager Kate Jennings, or if you have questions about the course content, please contact Program Attorney Austine Long.
With Raise the Age’s full implementation now only several months away, OJD has been diligent in rolling out its North Carolina Juvenile Defender State Enhancement Program (SEP). As part of this initiative, from Apr. 24 – 26 the Office of Juvenile Defender (OJD) partnered with the National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) to teach 10 dedicated N.C. juvenile defense attorneys NJDC’s Juvenile Training Immersion Program (JTIP).
During the three-day training program, three NJDC trainers engaged juvenile defenders in various hands-on activities and discussions in preparation to be effective regional trainers of other defenders across the state. Discussions ranged from the difficulties of representing juveniles to cultivating showmanship and employing adult learning theory. Defenders were also put into pairs and small groups for some activities to encourage collaboration.
As one of the first pieces in the SEP project, funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), the purpose of JTIP was to allow OJD to offer more quality training to defenders statewide, while also providing more support from defenders who practice in the communities and regions they will train in. JTIP is meant specifically for trainer presentation, but does not offer substantive training on the new law.
Also as a result of the OJJDP grant, Project Attorney Monique Williams joined the OJD team earlier this year. As project attorney, she has done extensive investigations of juvenile courts in multiple counties, collected data, and devised new training to prepare N.C. juvenile defenders for the full implementation of Raise the Age.
“The JTIP training was absolutely the highlight of my tenure here as the Project Attorney for the OJJDP grant,” said Williams. “I was able to sit in on some of the sessions, and the vast materials and concepts imparted by NJDC to our N.C. attorneys will not only enhance their instructional facilitation skills, but their practice skills as well. I am certain that juvenile advocates across the state of N.C. will be educated and empowered by the content that will be shared with them in the coming future, and I am excited to see the positive impact in representation for our clients.”
Dorothy Hairston Mitchell, assistant clinical professor of law and supervising attorney of the Juvenile Law Clinic at North Carolina Central University (NCCU), was among the 10 participants selected for the program. Mitchell and other members of NCCU’s staff were instrumental in assisting with preparations for the training.
“[North Carolina Central University] was so excited to host this training and the collaboration, working with Monique and everybody, was phenomenal,” Mitchell said. “As a participant, I thought it was also phenomenal… Really well put together. I appreciated the way that they grouped us, they had us partnered up and, at least for my partner, I think we were perfectly paired. And all of the people in our group, it seemed like everyone felt the same way… I have not been to too many trainings where I come out like ‘Oh, my God, every single moment was just great!’, and this was one of them.”
Although JTIP offers a more intensive 40-lesson program that spans multiple weeks, NJDC agreed to condense the training for the N.C. attorneys, providing them with the additional information, but simplifying the presentation to fit the three-day window. Mitchell also stated that she was interested in learning more, saying that while she appreciated the experience, extending the training would have been the only thing she would have changed. “It was very intense the way it was, but I would’ve appreciated [the longer training]. It was so good, that I had a longing for what we didn’t get.”
With JTIP now completed, the next steps in the SEP are to provide the regional and local trainings and follow up with trainers for future site visits. Williams will also conduct further court observations, post-training evaluations, and surveys to help OJD assess what areas juvenile defenders may need more training in following Raise the Age’s full implementation.