Week in Review: Oct 21-25

Happy Friday! Can you believe October is almost over and we are 38 days away from the implementation of Raise the Age? This week, to mark the countdown, we are providing a few resources about what’s coming. BUT FIRST!


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.

Austine flew to Palm Springs to take part in the Juvenile Defender Leadership Summit hosted by the NJDC and we may not or may not be jealous! More pictures coming soon!


The NJDC released a new fact sheet on Wednesday, Eliminating Shackling in Juvenile Court: Continuing the Momentum. You can read the fact sheet here and below for a snippet:

Experts agree: shackling harms children; it causes trauma; interferes with participation in their own defense; impedes procedural justice; and biases judges.

  • From 2014-2017 18 states shifted their policies and disallowed the indiscriminate shackling of youth in juvenile court
  • 19 states still allow automatic shackling of youth in juvenile court

NJDC urges the remaining states that have yet to create a presumption against the automatic use of restraints to do so swiftly.

Strategies for Youth also released a press release about SROs in schools which SFY found that SROs are not adequately trained nor supervised through a survey of state laws, you can read the Executive Summary here.

A new blog post by Jacquelyn Green on the School of Government’s website is live and talking about Raise the Age. The blog contains answers to some of those commonly asked questions. You can read her post here.


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


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: 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.


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.


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.


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!