Week in Review: May 4-8

Thanks for stopping by for another Week in Review! Plenty of meetings and calls this week as NC gears up to reopen our courts and we’re so ready to share new ways to pursue juvenile justice in this new time. Remember, if you have any questions or suggestions, we are more than willing to help.

Also! OJD is looking to develop and provide webinar training to our Juvenile Defenders throughout this pandemic. We are currently requesting topics and information you would like to have discussed. Please email Austine Long with your thoughts. Thank you.

TIP OF THE WEEK

Youth Development Center commitment

We are focusing our Tips of the Week on stages of juvenile proceedings that disproportionately impact youth of color. This week we are considering commitment to a youth development center (YDC):

  • Whenever disposition is being entered for your client, always argue for the lowest level of disposition.  A small number of points, or a violation of probation, can quickly send your client to YDC.
  • Consult with the court counselor and the ADA on their recommendations to the court.  If possible, negotiate a lesser disposition than YDC commitment before court.
  • Meet with your client before the dispositional hearing and provide the court with an alternative disposition plan that considers the safety of the community and your client’s needs.
  • Provide in court testimony from supportive community members.
  • Consider offering the court recent recidivism studies which indicate that commitment to YDC is factor for increased recidivism in juveniles. 

Resources

  • May 14, 2020 at 11 AM: NC CRED presents an interactive round-table webinar with leading experts in the North Carolina public health and criminal justice systems. The webinar will explore current conditions in North Carolina and discuss actionable steps to help mitigate the adverse effects on people in North Carolina who is a webinar about preparing and conducting video conference secure custody hearings. The speaker will discuss best practices, confidentiality and other important issues concerning video conferencing hearings.are involved with the criminal justice system. To register for this webinar, click HERE.
  • From the Coalition for Juvenile Justice and the National Juvenile Justice Network member call, “COVID-19: The Heightened Dangers of Confinement” here are some resources they discussed.
  1. Distinction between medical isolation and solitary (AMEND at UCSF)
  2. A list of disability specific issues/resources (NDRN)
  3. Center for Educational Excellence in Alternative Settings
  4. Council of Juvenile Justice Administrators
  5. National Commission on Correctional Healthcare
  6. National Partnership on Juvenile Service
  7. Stop Solitary for Kids
  8. Tolerance.org

Thanks for stopping by!

Important North Carolina Defender Alert

Defenders,

We want to make you aware of operational changes instituted by state juvenile justice officials in response to the Covid-19 pandemic that may affect youth held in detention. You can find the official policy release here.

Of particular concern is the provision providing for “Placement of all juvenile detention center/crisis and assessment center admissions in medical room confinement for 14 days and until cleared by a medical provider to join the general population.” Our understanding after speaking with DJJ is that newly admitted youth are being segregated into pods and largely kept in their cells, according to protocols advised by the Center for Disease Control.

While DJJ is trying to engage these youth so they don’t feel isolated, the negative effect of solitary confinement on the mental health of youth is well documented. We also understand that if the youth leaves the facility and returns (including for secure custody hearings) the youth is placed back into medical room confinement for 14 days.

We want to encourage you to talk to your client if s/he is being held in detention to find out what is happening in that particular detention facility, and use not only DJJ’s policy of encouraging release by use of electronic monitoring or other community-based options (as outlined in the policy above), but also the information available in the links below to help inform the judge of the significant negative consequences of this type of confinement of youth and their mental health – especially youth with already existing mental health challenges. If your jurisdiction does not yet utilize audio/visual transmission for detention hearings, investigate this option as it will impact whether your client will have to re-enter medical room confinement.

Below are resources that you can consider using when arguing for your client to be released from detention:

  • Language from the Governor’s and NCDPS response to the Petition for Writ of Mamandus that was filed (the language pertaining to juveniles held in detention begins on page number 25 in the brief, but page 33 in the PDF).
  • ACLU briefing paper “No Child Left Alone” – Not related to Covid-19, but addresses the devastating effects of solitary confinement, regardless of what it’s called (i.e. isolation, medical confinement, etc.)
  • The Marshall Project article “What Happens When More Than 300,000 Prisoners are Locked Down?” – while not entirely juvenile focused, this also discusses the effects of isolation in confinement. “Solitary confinement can increase anxiety and disordered thinking, worsen mental health problems and heighten the risk of suicide.”

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need help crafting a motion or argument – we’re here to help!

You can download and save a copy of this alert here.

Thank you for all that you do and are doing during this difficult and trying time.

Week in Review: Feb 24-28

If I told you that OJD had the busiest week, would you believe us? From grant meetings to trainings, the work never stops when OJD is making juvenile justice a bit better in North Carolina.

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

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-2408.5 governs suppression motions in juvenile court. Under the statute, the suppression motion must include an affidavit. In adult cases, the failure to include an affidavit waives the suppression issue, even on appeal. State v. Holloway, 311 N.C. 573 (1984).

Upcoming Trainings

Remember! OJD is reporting and covering CLE fees.

Juvenile Enhancement Training Recap

First, OJD would like to thank all of our guest speakers who presented at the Juvenile Enhancement Training: Dr. Julianne Ludlam, Dorothy Hairston-Mitchell, Kim Howes, Terri Johnson, Eric Zogry, L. Chantel Cherry-Lassiter & Mary Stansell. We appreciate your time and effort to make this CLE possible and a success. A big thank you to Austine Long for organizing and scheduling this event, and one to LaTobia for getting the materials printed and arranged so nicely.

Topics covered included: Raise the Age, Adolescent Behavior, Collateral Consequences, Interviewing and Expunctions. It was a long but educational day. Subscribe to our blog for more training announcements. Take a look at some photos below!

Next up, UNC SOG Intensive. See you next week!

OJD Week In Review: Nov. 6-10

This week we’ve got a few new resources and updates for you, just in case you haven’t already got them in your own inbox.

In the Week Behind Us

Last week the Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice released a report titled “Developmental Reform in Juvenile Justice: Translating the Science of Adolescent Development to Sustainable Best Practice“.  This report is designed to assist local- and state-level organizations with incorporating “adolescent development research into their efforts to maximize improved and sustainable youth outcomes and system performance.”

Wake U

Also last week, NCCRED in collaboration with the Wake Forest University School of Law and Justice Program, the Wake Forest Journal of Law and Policy and the Wake Forest University Rethinking Community series held its Community Policing Symposium on Nov. 3.  The event featured a virtual lecture, a video presentation, and several discussions on how to improve relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve.  The summary for the event can be read here.

 

Lots of NJJN News

First in National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) news, we wanted to notify everyone that NJJN has  released a call to action to combat racism.  In their statement, NJJN acknowledges efforts in America’s history for civil rights and addresses the shortcomings of the juvenile justice system, particularly for youth of color, but also pointing out the marginalization of LGBTQI youth, children with disabilities and others.  NJJN also asks juvenile justice advocates to evaluate how we have approached racial injustice, to identify leadership, and  ask how we are held accountable.  Please take a moment to read the full article, which can be found here.

Secondly, NJJN has launched a campaign offering recommendations to improve relationships between police and youth of color.  They have a page on their website with a downloadable PDF with data and suggestions for distribution, and a press release template to help groups and individual advocates spread the word and get others involved.

Finally, NJJN has also announced that the Youth Justice Project will be hosting the #NJJNForum2018 in Durham.  This forum will celebrate the passage of Raise the Age in North Carolina and address much-needed reforms, such as eliminating collateral consequences, remedying racial and gender disparities, better access to defense for youth, and stemming the tide of referrals from schools to courts.  Currently, the organizations are seeking volunteers to join the Forum Planning Committee.  Please email Alyson Clements for more details.

Police Platform

More Useful Info

Earlier this week, the North Carolina Bar Association published an article by Juvenile Defender Eric Zogry about the National Juvenile Defender Leadership Summit.  In his writing, Zogry gives a brief account of his experience during the 21st annual conference.  You can read his article here and check out the NJDC page for more info on the Summit.

The Pew Charitable Trusts has created a chart, offering a visual display of data released from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.  The data shows the declining rates of adjudicated youth  from 2006-2015, by state.  You can see the chart here.

From the On the Civil Side blog, Professor LaToya Powell’s has a new entry, “The Juvenile Court Counselor’s Role As Gatekeeper.”  You can read Professor Powell’s latest post here.

…and a Final Reminder

We also want to offer one final reminder that the Center for Death Penalty Litigation will be closing applications for its new staff attorney position on Monday, November 13.  You can view the full details about this position and how to apply here.

That is all for now.  We hope everyone has a safe and relaxing Veteran’s Day and there is more to come soon, so be sure to check back with us!

Misdemeanor Diversion Program Conference – sponsored by the Youth Justice Project and Durham County Misdemeanor Diversion Program

The Youth Justice Project of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice and the Durham County Misdemeanor Diversion Program are cosponsoring a Misdemeanor Diversion Program Conference, focusing on sharing information about pre-­arrest misdemeanor
diversion programs (MDPs) aimed at keeping 16-­ and 17-­year-olds out of the adult
criminal system for minor offenses and instead imposing appropriate, individualized
and immediate consequences on these youth.  For more information, click here.

New Policy Recommendations by the National Juvenile Justice Network

From Sarah Breyer, Executive Director of the National Juvenile Justice Network:

August 3, 2016

New Policy Recommendations!

Every year, NJJN members draft and vote on policy platforms on key issues in youth justice. They’re meant to guide and influence the creation of policy and legislation.

This year, we produced a new policy platform on confidentiality (along with a related document with detailed recommendations to ensure youth records are kept confidential), and we revisited and updated our policy platform on sex offense registries and related laws. Click here to see them.

 

 

 

 

New Report: Future Interrupted: The Collateral Damage Caused by Proliferation of Juvenile Records

future-interrupted

The Juvenile Law Center recently released Future Interrupted: The Collateral Damage Caused by Proliferation of Juvenile Records.  This document contains valuable information for defenders in providing clients with guidance on the impact of juvenile adjudications and how those adjudications may be held against them in the future.  Of particular interest would be the sections on the economic argument against proliferation of records, and the collateral consequences of juvenile adjudication adjudications, including educational and employment impacts.