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!


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!


OJD Week in Review: 09/16-09/20

This week has been an exciting time for OJD. Not ONLY was there training in Gaston County BUT OJD welcomed two employees into the office (who also trained in Gaston!). Keep reading for all the news.

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.


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.

Gaston County Training

Tuesday, September 17 OJD visited Gastonia, NC and provided essential training to defenders and legal teams regarding Raise the Age and Juvenile Defense Basics. Our Assistant Juvenile Defender Kim led Juvenile Basics while our NEW Project Attorney tackled all the information for Raise the Age.

Missed this CLE? Contact our office if you’re interested in attending or scheduling training for your county.

New Employees

Meet OJD’s new Project Attorney, Austine Long. Here’s a bit about her:

Before coming to join our office, she worked as a Program Attorney for at the UNC School of Government where she designed trainings for public defenders and private attorneys appointed to represent indigent clients. She also previously worked as the drug court coordinator for the Montgomery County Circuit Court Adult and Juvenile Drug Courts in Maryland. She has served as a project director at the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) and an assistant public defender for the 14th Judicial District in Durham, NC, where she handled only juvenile cases. For seven years prior to that, she was in private practice focusing on juvenile, family, and criminal law.

*Extra: Austine’s previous position is now seeking applicants. For more information visit: https://unc.peopleadmin.com/postings/168727

Meet OJD’s new Communications & Office Manager, LaTobia Avent. Here’s a bit about her:

Before taking her position with OJD, LaTobia worked in the private sector for 7 years at AT&T Mobility as a Supervisor. She graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with her Masters in Communications in 2019 and prior to that, she attended North Carolina A&T where she received her bachelors in English in 2011. She loves social media and connecting with the world, which is her goal with OJD, connecting defenders to vital information. Through her gained communication skills at AT&T and using her passion of social media, advocacy and all things human connection, she hopes to extend OJD’s reach to attorneys and justice fighters alike. Follow OJD on Facebook for just how she does it: Search “NC Office of the Juvenile Defender”

Have a GREAT weekend and BE SAFE!

OJD Week in Review: July 22 -26

This week there is a new tip and just the single training reminder.  Please make sure to subscribe to the OJD blog and follow our OJD Twitter and Facebook pages as well to get updates, relevant articles, and other juvenile defense-related content throughout the week. Have a wonderful week and remember knowledge is power!!

Tip of the Week

Relevant Ages in Juvenile Court (Other than Age of Jurisdiction)

While NC is poised to raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction, here are some other relevant ages in the Juvenile Code:

6 Earliest age (date of criminal act) one can be a delinquent juvenile or undisciplined juvenile.
10 Youngest age an alleged delinquent juvenile may be fingerprinted or photographed.
Youngest age a delinquent juvenile may be committed to a youth development center.
11 Youngest age a delinquent juvenile may be registered as a juvenile sex offender.
13 Youngest age an alleged delinquent juvenile may be transferred to superior court.
Under 16*

(as of 2015)

Age at which an alleged delinquent juvenile’s admission or confession must be excluded if the juvenile’s parent/guardian or attorney was not present during an in-custody interrogation.
16-18 Age at which an alleged delinquent juvenile must be notified of the right to have a parent or guardian present, as well as an attorney, before an admission or confession may be used against the juvenile.


Parent Attorney and Juvenile Defender conferences Registration end today at 5 PM

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.

Job Opportunity

The Council for Children’s Rights (CFCR) serves as the public defender for children in Mecklenburg County. Through a contract with the North Carolina Office of Indigent Defense Services, CDT attorneys represent all children charged with crimes in juvenile delinquency court. In addition to performing the public defender role in juvenile court, CDT represents every child who is facing civil commitment to a mental health hospital or residential treatment facility. As expressed-interest attorneys, CDT causes children’s voices to be heard in court and protects their constitutional and statutory rights.  CFCR is the only specialized juvenile defense agency in North Carolina.

CFCR is looking to hire a Director of the Children’s Defense team.  For more information, click here.


Registration of Juvenile Offenders

Recent publication and updates on “SORNA”  Sex  Offender Registration  Notification Act  In 2016, the Supplemental Guidelines for Juvenile Registration under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act were published in the Federal Register. However,  North Carolina has not yet  implemented this act. To learn  more about SORNA visit: www.smart.gov/caselaw/Case-Law-Update-2019-Compiled.pdf

Dual Jurisdiction Youth

UNC School of Government Professor Jacqui Greene, who co-authored a bulletin on “dual jurisdiction youth,” those youth in both the child welfare and delinquency courts, has written a follow up article on the intersection of dual jurisdiction youth and the upcoming RTA changes.


Senate Bill 413, which includes recommendations from the Juvenile Jurisdiction Advisory Committee, passed the House and has passed in the Senate for concurrence.  It was presented to the governor for his signature on July 24th. 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.