2018 Year in Review

This past year has been a very eventful and exciting year for the juvenile defense community.  With N.C. now less than a year from the full implementation of the Raise the Age (RTA) legislation, which will raise the age of juvenile delinquency court jurisdiction, OJD has been working throughout 2018 to prepare attorneys around the state for the anticipated changes.

RTA

Contracts & Trainings

Trainings:  OJD hosted multiple regional trainings around the state to discuss the Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act (also known as the RTA legislation) and the office’s plans to address it going forward.  OJD also hosted various juvenile court basics trainings in different regions at the request of local attorneys and bar associations and will continue to do so upon request.  OJD also presented to law students and collaborated with other organizations, such as the N.C. Advocates for Justice Juvenile Defense Section, to train attorneys on RTA.

Contracts:  OJD established no new contracts this year, however there was a juvenile delinquency RFP issued and a few open contract positions filled through the year.  As part of the response to RTA, OJD will evaluate current contracts and observe court in all districts to determine where new contracts will be needed once the law is fully implemented.  Assistant Juvenile Defender Kim Howes has also met with contractors in different districts to address issues and strategize on their cases.

Legislation

While there was no new legislation this year that OJD worked on, Juvenile Defender Eric Zogry continued to be active on the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee (JJAC) and the Legal Revisions and Legislative Issues Subcommittee, assisting in the planning and adjustments before the full implementation of RTA.  We also provide the most current information we can for frontline defenders and stakeholders pertaining to the changes to the law.

Outreach

This year OJD has continued to grow in our online presence.  We’ve continued to trend Dilemma of Dutiesupward with the numbers on social media and we still encourage all attorneys doing juvenile defense work in N.C. to join our Facebook/Twitter page.  On the OJD website, new content is still being added to the blog, and new resources are still being provided to prepare attorneys on the RTA page under the “Information for Defenders” tab.  We’ve also had some great new interviews on the OJD podcast, including a feature on Dr. Anne Corbin’s book, Dilemma of Duties, which focuses exclusively on attorneys in the N.C. juvenile justice system, and a discussion on juvenile psychological development and evaluations with Dr. Cindy Cottle.

In 2018, the bulk of our outreach efforts have been dedicated to education and the celebration of the passage of RTA, and also establishing relationships with organizations that have interest in the new legislation.  OJD has also met with N.C. Central University’s staff to strategize on how to utilize the technology available through their Virtual Justice Project to assist in outreach for 2019.

Direct Representation

OJD continues to provide direct representation of juvenile clients.  This has allowed our Office to observe and respond to trends in juvenile court as well as continue to have a presence in the courtroom.  OJD has represented juveniles in cases transferred from other districts and been able to identify issues for appeal and base trainings on issues that have arisen in multiple cases in various districts such as proper amendments to charges on petitions and improper dispositional levels.  Collaboration with defenders in other jurisdictions when we have juvenile clients in common has resulted in better outcomes for juveniles with petitions in multiple districts.

New Initiatives

With the implementation of RTA underway, OJD has executed its three-part plan to address the needs of defenders to absorb the increased number of cases.  This includes (1) developing virtual and in-person statewide and local conferences, trainings and presentations to keep defenders informed, (2) proposing a system of dedicated defenders through contracting with local defenders and consulting with public defender offices and contractors to determine the impact of potential increase in caseload, and (3) continuing to work on policy development as it pertains to RTA implementation.  Our office continues to update the RTA page on the OJD website with resources specifically related to the legislation and our plans, including summaries and a compilation of articles, and we will continue to update this page as more materials become available.

OJJDP Grant

Early in 2018, with the anticipated increase in the juvenile caseload once 16- and 17-year-olds enter the juvenile justice system as a result of RTA, OJD and the Office of Indigent Defense Services (IDS) applied for a federal grant offered through the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).  The plan was to use the grant to help fund efforts to give attorneys access to more specialized training and resources and also increase our capacity for data collection over the next few years.  Fortunately, OJD was awarded the grant and has created the new Project Attorney position to assist in the planning and execution of virtual and in-person training statewide to better address juvenile defenders’ needs.  IDS has also created a new Juvenile Contract Specialist position to assist with the caseload increase.

OJD Week in Review: Mar. 26 – 30

Even though this is a short week, we’ve got some new updates to share that could be useful to the juvenile defense community in the coming months.

From Around the Community

On Mar. 16, Campbell Law School hosted a Raise the Age luncheon featuring Rep. Marcia Morey and a diverse panel of voices from around the juvenile defense community which included Juvenile Defender Eric ZogryGeneral Counsel and Policy Advisor of the Office of the Lt. Governor Steven WalkerNCGA Legislative Analysis Division Staff Attorney Tawanda Foster, and others.  For anyone interested, there is now video available for the 2-hour event.  Check it out below.

The N.C. Bar Association has posted a new blog discussing our state’s new expunction laws.  This article, written by Tarrah Callahan, executive director of Conservatives for Criminal Justice Reform, and Daniel Bowes, staff attorney at Workers’ Rights Project/ Second Chance Initiative, touches on the difficulty of obtaining expunctions in the past and breaks down the recent changes to the law.  You can read their full article here.

Training

Registration is now open for N.C. Bar Association’s annual meeting, this year titled “The Future of Law”.   This event will be hosted at the Wilmington Convention Center from June 21 – 24.  For those who register before May 1, a President’s Luncheon ticket and 6.0 CLE credit hours will be included with the registration price.  Topics covered will include artificial intelligence, virtual reality, design thinking in the law, and the future of legal service delivery.  For further info and to register please check out the NCBA website and the event brochure.

On May 10, the N.C. Bar Association will be hosting “Raise the Age: A New Era for Juvenile Justice in North Carolina” at the N.C. Bar Center in Cary, from 8:25 a.m. to 3 p.m.  This seminar promises to expand attendees’ understanding of the Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act and its practical and ethical implications.  Attendees will receive 5.5 CLE credits total, with 1.0 CLE credit in Ethics/Professional Responsibility and 4.5 General CLE credits.  For further details about this event, please check the website here.

Disability Rights North Carolina will be hosting its 2018 Disability Advocacy Conference on Apr. 19.  The conference offers 5.0 CLE credits for lawyers, which includes 1.0 credit hour for substance abuse/mental health awareness.  Sessions include parental rights, restrictive interventions in public schools, guardianship reforms, and a session exclusively tailored to attorneys titled “Recognizing and Responding to a Lawyer with a Mental Health Disorder”, just to name a few.  To learn more about this event and register please visit their web page here.

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Job Opportunities

The National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) is currently hiring a strategic communications manager.  The individual in this position will be responsible for crafting organizational messaging, overseeing editorial excellence, and working with leadership to implement a communications strategy that is creative, forward-thinking, and reflective of NJDC’s vision.  This position will remain opened until filled.  To find further info about the position and how to apply, please go here.

The National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) is seeking a mid-level policy attorney to handle youth justice issues in Santa Clara County.  Applications will be accepted through Apr. 15.  For further details and to apply please check here.

The UNC School of Government is seeking a tenure-track full-time permanent assistant professor of juvenile justice and criminal law.  The selected candidate for this position will be expected “to write for, advise, plan courses for, and teach” public officials, including judges, magistrates, law enforcement, prosecutors and defenders.  Applications will remain open until the position is filled.  The expected starting date for the new hire will be July 1.  Please find the full details for the position and how to apply here.

The National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) is still accepting applications for its 2018-19 Youth Justice Leadership Institute.  This is an annual year-long fellowship program that selects 10 people of color working as professionals in the juvenile justice field to participate in a curriculum to develop their leadership and advocacy skills.  The fellowship can be completed with the fellows’ current employment, so those selected will not have to leave their jobs to participate in the Institute.  The fellowship will include two fully financed retreats, mentoring and frequent distance learning opportunities.  NJJN will host an informational webinar on Apr. 2 that you can register for here.  Applications for the Institute (found here) must be submitted by Apr. 23.

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This wraps up our short week in review and we just want to wish everyone a safe and happy Easter weekend (or vacation week if we don’t catch you next week)!  Be sure to check back on here again soon!

OJD Week in Review: Mar. 12-16

This week we will primarily be offering reminders for previously mentioned events, training, and job opportunities with a few new updates sprinkled in.

Events Around the Community

raise the age luncheonIf you don’t already have lunch plans today, from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Campbell Law School (225 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, NC 27603) will be hosting a Raise the Age luncheon in Room 105.  This event will feature remarks from Rep. Marcia Morey and a panel discussion focused on the new legislation to raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction .  Panelists will include Juvenile Defender Eric Zogry, General Counsel and Policy Advisor of the Office of the Lt. Governor Steven Walker, Executive Director of Conservatives for Criminal Justice Reform Tarrah Callahan, NCGA Legislative Analysis Division Staff Attorney Tawanda Foster, Chief Executive Officer of Haven House Michelle Zechmann, and Former Executive Director of Capital Area Teen Court Louise Davis.  Boxed lunches (at least 80) will be provided for attendees.

Reminder that the The North Carolina Bar Association Juvenile Justice and Children’s Rights Section will be holding a council meeting on next Thursday, March 22, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.  A networking reception will be held directly after the meeting at Whiskey Kitchen on 201 W. Martin St. and appetizers and a cash bar will be provided.  All section members and attorneys who could be members are welcome to attend and may RSVP here.

Job/Fellowship Opportunities

The National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) is currently hiring a strategic communications manager.  The individual in this position will be responsible for crafting organizational messaging, overseeing editorial excellence, and working with leadership to implement a communications strategy that is creative, forward-thinking, and reflective of NJDC’s vision.  This position will remain opened until filled.  To find further info about the position and how to apply, please go here.

The East Bay Community Law Center is seeking applicants for a Director to lead its Youth Defender Clinic (YDC).  YDC provides legal representation and advocacy to young people in school discipline and delinquency proceedings, including assisting young people in overcoming barriers to education and employment created by juvenile court records and court-ordered debt.  The Director will lead YDC’s work, which consists of representing clients in juvenile delinquency and school discipline proceedings, supervising and training law students on cases, and engaging in policy advocacy related to court-debt and juvenile probation.  For more information and to apply please check here.  The application deadline is Monday, March 26, 2018.

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The UNC School of Government is seeking a tenure-track full-time permanent assistant professor of juvenile justice and criminal law.  The selected candidate for this position will be expected “to write for, advise, plan courses for, and teach” public officials, including judges, magistrates, law enforcement, prosecutors and defenders.  Applications will remain open until the position is filled.  The expected starting date for the new hire will be July 1.  Please find the full details for the position and how to apply here.

The National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) is still accepting applications for its 2018-19 Youth Justice Leadership Institute.  This is an annual year-long fellowship program that selects 10 people of color working as professionals in the juvenile justice field to participate in a curriculum to develop their leadership and advocacy skills.  The fellowship can be completed with the fellows’ current employment, so those selected will not have to leave their jobs to participate in the Institute.  The fellowship will include two fully financed retreats, mentoring and frequent distance learning opportunities.  NJJN will host an informational webinar on Apr. 2 that you can register for here.  Applications for the Institute (found here) must be submitted by Apr. 23.

Training

Disability Rights North Carolina will be hosting its 2018 Disability Advocacy Conference on Apr. 19.  The conference offers five CLE credits for lawyers, including one credit hour for substance abuse/mental health awareness.  Sessions include parental rights, restrictive interventions in public schools, guardianship reforms, and a session exclusively tailored to attorneys titled “Recognizing and Responding to a Lawyer with a Mental Health Disorder”, just to name a few.  To learn more about this event and register please visit their web page here.

That is all we’ve got for you this week.  Be sure to check out our Facebook and Twitter feed for updates during the week as well.  If you are a juvenile defense attorney in North Carolina, please contact us with your name and email to be added to our listserv and feel free to engage in with others in the juvenile defense community through our channels as well.  We will have more info and features for you coming soon.

Campbell Law Hosts Raise the Age Luncheon

raise the age luncheon

Campbell Law School (225 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, NC 27603) will be hosting a luncheon Friday, Mar. 16, from 11:45 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. in Room 105 with a panel discussion focused on the new legislation to raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction .  The event will feature remarks from Rep. Marcia Morey and panelists will include Juvenile Defender Eric Zogry, General Counsel and Policy Advisor of the Office of the Lt. Governor Steven Walker, Executive Director of Conservatives for Criminal Justice Reform Tarrah Callahan, NCGA Legislative Analysis Division Staff Attorney Tawanda Foster, Chief Executive Officer of Haven House Michelle Zechmann, and Former Executive Director of Capital Area Teen Court Louise Davis.  Boxed lunches (at least 80) will be provided for attendees.

Meet Cody Davis – OJD’s 2017 Fall Intern

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Cody Davis will be joining the office this fall as our new intern.  Cody is a third-year law student at Campbell University School of Law.

While in law school, Cody also received his Master’s of Public Administration from North Carolina State University.  Prior to law school, Cody received his Bachelor’s from North Carolina State University where he studied political science with minors in criminology and philosophy.  Cody has previously worked at the Legislative Analysis Division of the North Carolina General Assembly where he had the opportunity to experience the passage of North Carolina’s Raise-the-Age provisions and compile some research on juvenile jurisdiction across the country.  Cody also had the opportunity to shadow a juvenile defense attorney while he was in college.  In the community, Cody is a volunteer judge for Capital Area Teen Court and serves as the Assistant Director for the Campbell Law School’s Pro Bono Council.

Cody has always had an interest in juvenile delinquency issues, and that is what caused him to pursue a legal education.  Even before law school, Cody’s undergraduate coursework included the topic of juvenile delinquency; and in graduate school, one of Cody’s policy analysis research projects was a program evaluation of teen court programs.  Though Cody has lived in Raleigh for several years, he is originally from Archdale, N.C. and comes from a large, close family.

Also joining the office with Cody is his guide dog Bingo, an 8-year-old black lab.  Bingo is a graduate of Southeastern Guide Dogs; and her interests include eating, sleeping, and sniffing.

Meet OJD’s 2017 Summer Intern, Jonathon Woodruff

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Jonathon Woodruff is a 23-year-old native of Winston-Salem, N.C.  He moved to Durham, N.C. to attend North Carolina Central University and graduated with a B.A. in Psychology.  Jonathon then moved to Raleigh, N.C. and enrolled at Campbell University School of Law.  He is a rising 3L student and will serve as the President of the Black Law Student Association and a 3L Representative to the Student Bar Association this upcoming year.  Jonathon has previously interned with Attorney Louis Woodruff and the Wake County Family Court.  He desires to practice in both criminal defense and family law.