Week in Review: April 26-30

Hello to all our readers out there! A shorter week in review but still some great information. Let’s get you headed into the weekend with a great Week in Review.

RAISE THE AGE TIP OF THE WEEK!

Where Is My Client Being Held?

All juveniles under the 18 shall be held in a juvenile detention center or in a facility approved by the Juvenile Justice Section of the Division of Adult Corrections and Juvenile Justice.  This also includes juveniles who have been transferred to superior court.  If a juvenile has been transferred to superior court and turns 18 while awaiting competition of the case, the juvenile is to be held in the custody of the sheriff where the charges arose.

SOG + IDS 2021 Spring Public Defender Conference

The 2021 Virtual Spring Public Defender Attorney & Investigator Conference is  open and available at https://www.sog.unc.edu/courses/spring-public-defender-attorney-and-investigator-conference offered remotely May 12-14, 2021 on the Zoom meeting platform. This conference is cosponsored by the School of Government and the Office of Indigent Defense Services and offers 13 hours of attorney CLE credit and qualifies for NC State Bar criminal law specialization credit. This conference will also offer at least one hour of ethics, mental health/ substance abuse, and technology credit. The SOG has submitted a total of 7 credit hours to the North Carolina Protective Services Board for approval of the investigator sessions and they will have their own training tracks Wednesday & Friday.

You can get more information and register by clicking here: https://www.sog.unc.edu/courses/spring-public-defender-attorney-and-investigator-conference

Fayetteville-Cumberland Youth Council

The Fayetteville-Cumberland Youth Council is holding their 2021 Virtual Teen Health Summit and it scheduled for Saturday, May 8th, 2021 Virtually. The event is a full-day of programming curated by the Fayetteville-Cumberland Youth Council. Our goal is to build awareness around teenagers and their health care. We will be hosting various workshops focusing on Mental Health, Physical Health, Advocacy and more. 

Join us by tickets on Eventbrite. Tickets are free and the event is for teens 14-19! 2021 Virtual Teen Health Summit Ticket

Week in Review: Apr 12-16

Welcome to the Weekend Readers! This week OJD was busy with meetings and discussions while also planning some new material to share with you all. We’d love to hear some of your thoughts, needs and wants to better assist you in your day to day work in Juvenile Justice. No idea is a bad one and you can contact anyone in the office!

TIP OF THE WEEK

When Should I Receive the Disposition Report? 

You should try to receive the disposition report prior to the dispositional hearing to review with your client.  If possible, try to get a copy of the report at least several days prior to the hearing.  While there is no statutory authority compelling the receipt from the intake counselor, there are local rules which suggest time periods.

Congratulations OJD!

With the completion of our OJJDP Grant that wrapped up March 31, 2021, OJD was able to produce multiple CLE trainings for our Defenders (while covering attendance costs), have a brand new website (coming soon), and created SEVEN Quick Guides for readily accessible facts & tips while in court (which were either hand delivered or mailed throughout the year). All of this would not have been possible without our AWESOME Project Attorney Austine Long. Austine has worked extremely hard to reshape how our grant would succeed during the unexpected change of pace when the office and our plans to travel, shut down due to Covid. She revamped our CLE curriculum and never stopped making sure we hit the mark. So thank you Austine, for everything you did and do for OJD!

Raise the MINIMUM Age

On March 25, 2021, the N.C. Senate passed a bill to raise the minimum age a youth can be petitioned for a crime. The age increase would move from the lowest in the United States at 6 years of age, to 10. One of the main highlights of Senate Bill 207 is that it sets up a child consultation process which would enforce that these youth that are referred to the justice system and are under 10 will need to meet with a court counselor to assess the appropriate resources that can assist with keeping the youth out of the court process. This aim is to ensure that the mental capacity of youth and the desire to keep children out of the system and help discover latent issues. Now that the Senate has passed the legislation, it is on it’s way to the House for further consideration before going to the Governor’s hands. If the bill is passed, it will go into effect on Dec. 1. What are your thoughts on this newly introduced / pending Bill?

JLWOP

Josh Rovner has written a great piece via the Sentencing Project regarding Juvenile LWOP. This brief report is filled with statistics, landmark cases and thoughts surrounding the end of JLWOP in the United States. To read this brief and learn more about the JLWOP reform requests, please click here.

Week in Review: Apr 5-9

Happy Friday Readers! First week of April down and it’s getting warmer outside. Not to mention, time for pollen. We hope you’re stocked up on allergy cures for Spring. Well, it’s time for another Week in Review, let’s get started!

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.

Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and as juvenile defenders, it is important to note, understand and work with others to provide safety to the most vulnerable. For more information on training, initiatives, partnerships and tools, please visit OJJDP’s dedicated page to this cause.

Webinar!

In honor of Second Chance Month this April, NACDL will host “Race + Criminal Legal System: Collateral Consequences,” a program aimed at unpacking the racially disparate and often-permanent consequences associated with criminal convictions. Tune in Tuesday, April 13th, at 4pm ET (1pm PT) with moderator, Cynthia Roseberry, Deputy Director for the National Policy Advocacy Department for the ACLU, and panelists Rob DeLeon, Vice President of Programs for The Fortune Society, David Singleton, Executive Director for the Ohio Justice & Policy Center, and Quintin WilliamsPanelists will discuss the long-term impacts of criminal convictions, the specific harm that collateral consequences have caused to communities of color, and what it will take to meaningfully change this system. There will be time for audience questions at the end of the program.

North Carolina Juvenile Sentence Review Board

Yesterday, Governor Roy Cooper announced the formation of the North Carolina Juvenile Sentence Review Board (“Review Board”). It is a four-person advisory board, established by Executive Order 208, that will review some sentences imposed in NC on youth who were tried and sentenced in adult criminal court for acts committed before turning 18. The Review Board will make recommendations to the Governor concerning clemency and commutation of such sentences when appropriate. This is big news for youth offenders who are now adults and a start to changing the course of juvenile justice in NC. To read more about this announcement click here.

From LaTobia,

I am seeking guest writers for our blog for each month this year, specifically those in juvenile defense or youth advocacy work. Topics will be of your choice, but should include some supporting information such as statutes, cases or graphics. These blogs are geared to help fellow attorneys and create discussion in regards to juvenile proceedings and court processes. Feel free to send me an email at latobia.s.avent@nccourts.org so we can discuss this further or if you’d like to volunteer. Also, feel free to send this message to your colleagues and friends, whoever may be a great contributor. Thanks!

THAT’S ALL FOR NOW! HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!

Week in Review: March 22-26

Another Friday in the books and the last one of March! So let’s jump into our Week in Review.

TIP OF THE WEEK!

If you have a client being held on a secure custody order – remember it’s the STATE’s burden to prove to the court, by clear and convincing evidence, that the juvenile should remain in custody AND no less intrusive alternative will suffice (§7B-1906(d)).  That means it’s not the court counselor’s role!  Ask the court for less restrictive means, for example electronic monitoring or house arrest.  If the court finds that your client should remain in custody, the court is bound by the criteria in §7B-1903 and must make written findings of fact.

Thank you to David Andrews!

OJD would like to thank David Andrews for his presentation Wednesday afternoon on Challenging North Carolina’s Automatic Transfer Laws. The information he shared was not only helpful to our defenders, but sparked questions but also how to overcome challenges our defenders see daily. This was a highly participated CLE and we also can’t thank the attendees enough for making this a great training!

Something exciting is coming!

Not only is NCJUVENILEDEFENDER.COM getting a facelift, we’re also bringing you some new content. We’re now in the process of recording a few videos, containing information on juvenile issues, specialization, and all kinds of helpful nuggets that we know our defenders would like. Interested in filming one? Contact LaTobia.

With the new website, you will have to re-subscribe to our blog (and something special) so stay tuned for more information and our launch! Thanks for all that you do and helping us make this possible!

Community Events

On April 1 at 1:00pm ET, NACDL’s Fourth Amendment Center is presenting a free, CLE webinar titled, “Racist by Design: How Systemic Racism and Inherent Biases Manifest in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Beyond”. This program will feature Rashida Richardson, Visiting Scholar at Rutgers Law School and Rutgers Institute for Information Policy and Law, Cathy O’Neil, author, mathematician, and founder of ORCAA, an algorithmic auditing company, and Cierra Robson, a doctoral student in the Sociology and Social Policy program at Harvard University and the Inaugural Associate Director of the Ida B. Wells JUST Data Lab at Princeton University. To register for this CLE and receive credit, please click here.

In honor of Second Chance Month this April, NACDL will host “Race + Criminal Legal System: Collateral Consequences,” a program aimed at unpacking the racially disparate and often-permanent consequences associated with criminal convictions. Tune in Tuesday, April 13th, at 4pm ET (1pm PT) with moderator, Cynthia Roseberry, Deputy Director for the National Policy Advocacy Department for the ACLU, and panelists Rob DeLeon, Vice President of Programs for The Fortune Society, David Singleton, Executive Director for the Ohio Justice & Policy Center, and Quintin Williams. Panelists will discuss the long-term impacts of criminal convictions, the specific harm that collateral consequences have caused to communities of color, and what it will take to meaningfully change this system. There will be time for audience questions at the end of the program.

Week in Review: March 1-5

Happy March Readers! Can you believe we are 3 months into 2021 already? How is time flying so fast!? Well with each new month comes new opportunities and OJD is always here to help however we can. Let’s get you to your weekend with your Week in Review, Tip & some recaps!

Appeals Tip of the Week: Courtesy of David Andrews, Office of the Appellate Defender

Suppression motions and contested adjudicatory hearings – If the suppression motion is denied, object when the evidence is admitted at the adjudication hearing because the failure to do so creates a heavier burden on appeal. A pretrial ruling on a motion to suppress is “preliminary,” which means the juvenile must object when evidence is offered during the adjudication hearing. State v. Waring, 364 N.C. 443 (2010). The failure to object when the evidence is admitted subjects the argument to plain error review on appeal. State v. Stokes, 357 N.C. 220 (2003).

Did you catch our SURPRISE SATURDAY Post?

With the conclusion of #BlackHistoryMonth we had ONE MORE Juvenile Defender to highlight and that was Alexis Perkins! She’s a superior attorney and has been defending children since she got her start in law. Not only does she have the experience, she has the talent! To read more about Alexis and what #BlackHistoryMonth means to her, click here.

Help NJDC Improve Their Defender App!

From NJDC, “NJDC’s goal in creating Defender App was to provide a convenient way for defenders to access NJDC’s resources quickly, in on-your-feet, in-the-moment situations, such as in the courtroom, when you have to quickly object or make an oral motion.”

They are currently the beginning stages of a website redesign (JUST LIKE OJD) and want to make resources more accessible, and are also considering a Defender App 2.0. NJDC would greatly appreciate your feedback about how or whether you have used Defender App already, and what features you would find most useful in a future version.

This survey will be open until Friday, March 12. Please take a moment to complete this survey and help NJDC keep Defenders up to date.

For Our Students & Future Attorneys

Your internship inquiries have been received and OJD is very close to finalizing what our Summer Internship might look like (in the hopes we can provide one due to our current pandemic). We will be announcing more information hopefully by the end of next week. Thank you so much for your interest in interning at OJD and your desire to also #DefendChildren!

Have a GREAT & SAFE Weekend!!

Week in Review: Feb 8-12

Happy Friday Readers! We hope your week was productive with plenty of moments to catch your breath too. Couple of announcements for you this week, along with a new (and free) OJD CLE!

Tip of the Week!

Where Can I Find the Law on RTA?

If you want to see the Session Laws which include the Raise the Age changes, see:

Senate Bill 413: 2019 Session Amendments to the RTA Bill (Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act)

Senate Bill 257: The final bill budget for Session Law 2017; info pertaining to the Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act can be found on pages 309-325

You can also check out the NC General Assembly website.  Look under “Bills and Laws,” then “General Statutes.”  You can search by citation or test, or you can look at Chapter 7B under the Table of Contents, and see the most recent changes to statute text on the right side of the statute.

FROM IDS

The Commission on Indigent Defense Services recently approved a modest, but much-needed, partial restoration of rates paid to private counsel providing representation in some case types. Specifically, the Commission voted to raise by $5 an hour the rate for high-level felonies, with a corresponding increase in non-hourly representation for adult criminal and juvenile delinquency proceedings. The Commission also voted to raise by $5 an hour the rate for DWI and Class A1 misdemeanors disposed of in the district court, with a corresponding increase in non-hourly representation. The increases approved by the Commission will take effect on March 1, 2021. Please click here to read the notice from Darrin Jordan, the Commission Chair, and IDS Executive Director, Mary Pollard. Also, if you have any questions, please reach out to Whitney Fairbanks via email.

Have you seen our #BlackHistoryMonth Spotlights?

Lyana Hunter (left) & Staisha Hamilton (right)

This week we showcased two amazing women and their work within the juvenile defense community. First up was Lyana Hunter and then Staisha Hamilton. To catch up on their spotlights, click here for Lyana and click here for Staisha!

OJD CLE OPPORTUNITY!

Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 2:30 PM, OJD is hosting “Representing LGBT Youth”. This CLE will be presented by Ames Simmons, the Policy Director for Equality NC. This program will be a 90 minute CLE, with application pending and FREE TO THE FIRST 35 REGISTRANTS. This webinar includes a general review of introductory concepts and terminology related to LGBTQ identities, including the importance of pronouns to professionalism. We will discuss gender-expansive youth and the processes of gender transition for young people. We will talk about LGBTQ youth in out-of-home custody and present best practices for advocating for LGBTQ young people in the juvenile legal system. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.

THATS ALL FOR THIS WEEK! HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!