Week in Review: Nov 4-8

Before we begin.

With respect and gratitude to those who have served and are serving today, The Office of the Juvenile Defender salute you for your service and sacrifice.

The leaves are falling and it’s getting colder, but Raise the Age is just heating up. The Office of the Juvenile Defender is completing training all across the state, have you attended?

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


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.


The questions will also be posted on our Facebook page “North Carolina Office of the Juvenile Defender” as well!


Juvenile Justice Service Directory: A directory of services to aid in alternative solutions.

Photo Recap!

Eric speaking to the Orange County Bar Association and Austine presenting in Salisbury on Raise the Age!


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: Oct 14-18

Happy Friday Readers! The office has been buzzing with activity as we gear up for #RaiseTheAgeNC. We have so many materials, resources, and activities planned to keep you informed, the pressure is on! Lots of information to give you so let’s start!

Defenders??????? Are you on the listserv? Contact LaTobia here to stay connected to your peers around the state for any and all things #JuvenileDefense


Immigration Consultations 

Did you know that IDS has made immigration consultants available to all defenders who have been appointed indigent clients? That means all of your juvenile clients! This may be especially helpful to determine if your client may be eligible for some type of immigration relief since s/he is a juvenile. Simply go to the IDS website to access the form here. You may want to print out the printable version and put it in your case file to fill out when you meet your client and then upload the information when you get back to the office.


Austine visted Mecklenburg County and trained our defenders alongside Laura Anderson on #RaiseTheAgeNC and Juvenile Basics. We’re working on photos, it’s a mission of ours! Thanks Austine!!

Eric spoke at the GAL AA Conference this morning speaking on #RaiseTheAgeNC and had a very interactive and humorous crowd. Look at him in action!!

Speaking of TRAINING!!

Austine has another #RaiseTheAgeNC training upcoming in Chowan County with Brandon Belcher & Mary Stansell on 11/19/2019. Reach out to her here for more information or to RSVP!


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!


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.


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.


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.


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!