OJD Week in Review: May 14 – 18

Welcome back!  This week we’ve got two new resources from NJDC in honor of Gault and the usual list of reminders for upcoming event and application deadlines.

We’d like to ask that if you know of any new defenders around N.C. please be sure to let them know about our office and also direct them to our website, the listserv,  Twitter page, and the NCOJD Facebook page.  We want to make sure we are reaching as many juvenile justice advocates as possible and ensure everyone is made aware of all of the channels we have available in the event they need assistance.  Thanks!

Also, check out the infographic below and see what traits you think match your style!

New Resource

Earlier this week, to commemorate the 51st anniversary of In re Gault, the National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) released two new resources, “Confined Without Cause: The Constitutional Right to Prompt Probable Cause Determinations for Youth” and “Ensuring Access: A Policy Advocacy Toolkit“.  The former argues the harms of placing children in detention and the need for children to have a probable cause determination within 48 hours, and the latter is a toolkit meant to aid defenders, advocates, state legislators and policymakers who desire to change local laws and court rules to ensure children have access to counsel.  The toolkit also acts as a companion piece to NJDC’s previous report, “Access Denied: A National Snapshot of States’ Failure to Protect Children’s Right to Counsel“, which was released last year to commemorate Gault‘s 50th anniversary, incorporating the five issue areas and recommendations from that report.

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From Around the Community

The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform and the Council of State Governments Justice Center will host the 2018 Janet Reno Forum on Monday, May 21, at  Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.  The forum will highlight strategies for restructuring juvenile justice systems to more effectively enhance public safety and improve outcomes for youth.  The event will include the presentation of the second annual Janet Reno Endowment Women’s Leadership Award, and attendees will receive a publication featuring the highlighted strategies.  Policymakers, practitioners, researchers, advocates, and other stakeholders are invited to attend.  Please register here.

The National Juvenile Justice Network will be hosting its 2018 Forum in Durham, N.C. from July 16 – 18 at the Duke University School of Law (210 Science Dr, Durham, NC 27708).  This event, co-hosted by the Youth Justice Project of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice and Duke Children’s Law Clinic, is meant to be a fun networking and training setting for juvenile justice advocates.  July 16 and 17 will be open to NJJN members only, and the final day will be open to the public.  For details on travel assistance, the current agenda, and lodging, please visit their site here.

Registration is now open for the 81st Annual National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges Conference.  The event this year will take place at the Hyatt Regency Denver at the Colorado Convention Center from July 22 – 25.  The conference will offer presentations/training tracks on  topics such as family law, juvenile justice, child welfare, and family violence.  This conference is judicially-focused and open to all those interested in the improvement of juvenile and family justice.  For registration and further info, please visit the NCJFCJ website here.  The early bird deadline to register ends on June 1.

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Job Opportunities

The Michigan State Appellate Defender Office (SADO) is seeking an Assistant Defender for its Juvenile Lifer Unit and will accept applications until Friday, May 25th.  The Unit is composed of seven attorneys and four mitigation specialists representing over a hundred clients where prosecutors are again seeking life without parole sentences.  The ideal candidate will have experience in death penalty phase or juvenile lifer resentencing hearings, experience in both trial and appellate courts, and experience negotiating with prosecutors, preparing mitigation for clients, and working with expert witnesses.  The project is funded through October 2019 for now, but funding will likely continue as the work will not be complete by then.  To view the full job description and see how to apply please review the complete job posting 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.

Training

Registration is still open for the 2018 Southern Juvenile Defender Center Regional Summit.  The event will take place on June 8 and 9 at the University of South Carolina School of Law.  For further details and to register for the event, please check the Eventbrite page here.

The 2018 Defender Trial School, cosponsored by the School of Government and the North Carolina Office of Indigent Defense Services, will be held Monday, July 9, through Friday, July 13, at the School of Government on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus.  The online registration deadline will be at 5 p.m. on Monday, June 25, and interested parties may register here.  Defender Trial School participants will use their own cases to develop a cohesive theory of defense at trial and apply that theory through all stages of trial, including voir dire, opening and closing arguments, and direct and cross-examination.  The program will offer approximately 30 hours of general CLE credit and qualifies for NC State Bar criminal law specialization credit, but attendees must attend all sessions.  The Defender Trial School is open to public defenders and a limited number of private attorneys who perform a significant amount of appointed work.  The registration fee for privately assigned counsel will be $700, which includes materials, breaks, lunches and parking, however Valerie Pearce and Tucker Charns can provide info for those interested in fellowships.  For additional info, please check out the program webpage.

Registration is open for the 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.  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.

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Please save the dates for the 2018 Parent Attorney and Juvenile Defender Conferences.  Parent Attorney Conference will be held Thursday, August 16 and Juvenile Defender Conference will be held Friday, August 17. 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, offer approximately six hours of CLE credit, and feature speakers from across the state.  Registration will open in mid-June with a formal announcement and full details.

Thank you for checking out this week’s wrap-up and we will bring more soon!

OJD Week in Review: Feb. 26-Mar. 2

This week, we’ve got some not-so-fresh news, but there is a profile piece we’d like to acknowledge, and we would like to remind everyone of some of the upcoming training and current job opportunities available around the community.

Job/Fellowship Opportunities

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 now 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 be hosting two informational webinars, one on Mar. 8 and another on Apr. 2.  To register for one of these webinars, please visit here.  Applications for the Institute (found here) must be submitted by Apr. 23.

Welcome Colleen Mullan

This may be old news to some, but we wanted to take a moment to bring attention to the Council for Children’s Rights’ (CFCR) selection of Colleen Mullan as their new director of Children’s Defense.   Mullan, who has been a part of the specialized children’s advocacy organization since 2012, previously as a staff attorney in mental health and a juvenile defense attorney, took the leadership position after the departure of former Director Mitchell Feld.  You can read CFCR’s full blog post here.

Training Time

There are still a few spots open for “Higher-Level Felony Defense, Part I” training, so please hurry if you are interested in attending!  This training will take place April 9-10 and will offer 9.0 CLE credit hours.  Topics will include working with investigators and experts, building rapport with clients, investigation and discovery, the theory of defense, and third-party records.  Members of public defender offices should get approval from the Chief Public Defender to register and contractors and privately assigned counsel must receive a fellowship from IDS Director Tom Maher.  For more information on registration, the agenda, and hotel information please visit here.

Today is the last day that the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform(CJJR) will be accepting applications for its Youth in Custody Certificate Program, to be held June 11–15, 2018, at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.  This training is designed for juvenile justice system leaders and partners working to improve outcomes for youth in post-adjudication custody.  The curriculum covers critical areas, including culture change and leadership, addressing racial and ethnic disparities, family engagement, assessment, case planning, facility-based education and treatment services, and reentry planning and support.  Upon approval of a Capstone Project Proposal initiating or building on local reform efforts, participants receive an Executive Certificate from Georgetown University and join the CJJR Fellows Network of more than 850 individuals.  If interested, please see how to apply here.

Events Around the Community

The North Carolina Bar Association Juvenile Justice and Children’s Rights Section will be holding a council meeting on 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.

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That is all we have for you fine folks this week.  We still invite everyone in the juvenile defense community to please contact us if there is anything we could assist with (questions, concerns, or suggestions).  We are also always open to giving every opportunity to defenders to voice their opinions and share their experiences openly in the community through our various communication/social media channels–so don’t be shy if there is a useful tip you’re itching to share, a game-changing case you’ve worked on, or some other sage advice you’d like to impart to your friends and fellow defenders.  We will bringing more updates next week, so be sure to check back!

OJD Week in Review: Jan. 22-26

We’re bringing more reminders than big updates this week, but as always we’ve got a few good tidbits of news you can use.

Your Usual Training News

Earlier this week we posted that registration is now open for the “Advocating for Youth Charged with First Degree Murder” training.  Cosponsored by the Office of Indigent Defense Services and the School of Government, this training will be held on March 9 at the UNC School of Government, starting at 8:45 a.m. and ending at 4:15 p.m.  The training will be geared towards attorneys who represent youth in juvenile and superior court and will cover topics including sentencing, mitigation, parole hearings, transfer hearings and the future of Miller cases.  In our previous post we provide details for hotel information, travel reimbursement and registration.

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We’d also like to remind everyone that registration for “Regional Training for Indigent Defense: Defending Sexual Offenses” closes Monday, Jan. 29, at 5 p.m.  This CLE, hosted by the UNC School of Government, will focus on defending sexual offenses with sessions on physical evidence, cross-examining experts, and motions and legal issues.  The event will be held on Feb. 8, 2018 at 1801 Nash St., Sanford, N.C. in the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center.  This program is open to all IDS contract attorneys and privately assigned counsel representing indigent clients and will offer 3.0 hours of CLE credit.  There is an $85 registration fee that will cover CLE credits, snacks, and materials.  Please find further details and register here.

New Resources

If you’re in need of CLE credits before the annual deadline, the Indigent Defense Education Group at the School of Government is ready and waiting to help.  With on-demand courses taught by experienced staff and legal professionals, you have the option to take a course for free if you just want to learn something new for the day or pay a fee to obtain your required CLE time.  This should be a valuable resource for all defenders, offering courses in many areas including ethics, mental health/substance abuse, and more.  You can access the on-demand content library here.

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention has also added a new snapshot to its Statistical Briefing Book, focusing on girls in the juvenile justice system.  This new file offers statistics on the types of offenses committed by girls and comparisons of arrests for certain crimes between males and females, with data gathered up to 2015.  You can find the newest entry in the Statistical Briefing Book here and also check out other recent updates to the database here.

facebookThat completes the news for this week.  We still encourage all stakeholders in the juvenile defense community to feel free to contact us about submitting guest blogs or joining us on our podcast.  And for those of you who are new to juvenile defense, or if you know someone who is interested in juvenile defense, be sure to contact us to be added to our listserv, like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter as well.

OJD Week in Review: Dec. 11-15

This week, as we get closer to Christmas, our gifts to you are… more reminders for training!

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Training Now and For the Year to Come

The National Juvenile Defender Center and the Georgetown Law Juvenile Justice Clinic are now accepting applications for the 2018 Juvenile Training Immersion Program (JTIP) Summer Academy.  This annual week-long intensive training offers juvenile defenders a specially-tailored curriculum developed by juvenile defense experts from across the country that will enhance the defenders’ ability to provide the best representation for their clients.  The 2018 JTIP Summer Academy will be held at Georgetown Law in Washington, D.C. from June 10-16.  This event is open exclusively to frontline defenders.  Applications must be submitted to lawjtipsummer@georgetown.edu no later than Jan. 15, 2018, and a nonrefundable $200 deposit is required for each participant upon registration, which will cover training materials and CLE credit approval.  All participants will be responsible for their own housing and travel expenses, and should plan accordingly to attend for the full week.  To apply and to find more details, please find an application here or you may also visit their website.  Also, check out Drew Kukorowski’s post where he briefly recounts his experience in the program in 2016, which can be found here on our blog.

Registration is now open for the Judicial Institute on Domestic Child Sex Trafficking.  Hosted by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges in collaboration with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and Rights4Girls, this interactive training will include hypothetical scenarios, case scenarios, lectures, small group discussions, and practical courtroom exercises focused on the issue of child sex trafficking in the U.S.  This free training will be held in Asheville on Feb. 12-14.  Judges and judicial officers are encouraged to register here.

On Dec. 19, from 3-4 p.m. OJJDP in collaboration with The Innocent Justice Foundation will host a free webinar titled “Maintaining Your Balance – Resiliency Action Plan.”  This webinar is intended to assist law enforcement and other juvenile justice professionals in developing a resiliency action plan to help them succeed in both their professional and personal lives after experiencing “vicarious trauma due to their work regarding commercial sexual exploitation of children and violence and abuse against children.”  To register for this please check out their website here.

Registration is now officially open for “Regional Training for Indigent Defense:  Defending Sexual Offenses”, hosted by the UNC School of Government.  This CLE will focus on defending sexual offenses with sessions on physical evidence, cross-examining experts, and motions and legal issues.  The event will be held on Feb. 8, 2018 at 1801 Nash St., Sanford, N.C. in the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center.  This program is open to all IDS contract attorneys and privately assigned counsel representing indigent clients and will offer 3.0 hours of CLE credit.  There is an $85 registration fee that will cover CLE credits, snacks, and materials.  The deadline for registration will be 5 p.m. on Jan. 29, 2018.  Please find further details and register here.

That wraps up this week.  While news may be light in the juvenile defense community as we round out the year, we will do our best to keep everyone updated and reminded of the training and job opportunities available.  Be sure to like and subscribe to our social media channels, and we will have more to come soon!

Capital Area Teen Court Podcast

Turkey Day is approaching and everyone is probably already in vacation mode for this week, so we will spare everyone from the usual “Week in Review” post this week just to make a brief announcement.

Our newest podcast is now up on SoundCloud.  In this segment, Fall Intern Cody Davis offers valuable insight into the Capital Area Teen Court Program sharing his experience as a volunteer of the program and his own research.  Cody was an excellent sport in the Q&A segment (and I apologize in advance for my own excessive verbal pauses), and he expertly explains the successes and flaws of Teen Court, as well as what the program is and offers his own speculations on what could be.  We also have to offer a big thanks to the Administrative Office of the Courts’ media team for recording, editing, and allowing us the use of their new studio.  You can listen to the new podcast here.

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…also, Happy Thanksgiving!

OJD Week In Review: Oct. 23-27

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Last weekend, from Oct. 20-22, the National Juvenile Defender Center held its 21st Annual Juvenile Defender Leadership Summit in Albuquerque, NM.

During this year’s Summit, topics included challenging the use of electronic monitoring in juvenile court, the impact of social media, acquiring discovery, unfair fines and fees imposed on youth and their families, expunction, and education advocacy.  N.C. Juvenile Defender Eric Zogry also joined a panel alongside Joshua Dohan, director of the Youth Advocacy Division of the Committee for Public Counsel Services in Massachusetts, and Devon Lee, legal counsel for the Office of the State Public Defender in Wisconsin, to discuss the challenges and successes of juvenile defense systems in different states.

Other faculty attending the conference included Teayra Turner, project associate at the National Juvenile Defender Center, Richard Ross, a photographer, researcher and Distinguished Professor of Art at the University of CaliforniaRandee Waldman, director of the Barton Juvenile Defender Clinic at Emory University School of Law, and Justice Barbara Vigil of the New Mexico Supreme Court, among many others.  Please find the full list of materials, publications, and other resources from the event here.

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Useful Tidbits

The Bureau of Justice Statistics has released a new special report on “Federal Prosecution of Commercial Exploitation of Children.”  This report examines cases prosecuted in the federal criminal court system between 2004 to 2013 and includes offenses related to the possession and production of child pornography and child sex trafficking.

The National Juvenile Justice Network has released a new policy platform which provides recommendations on improving relationships between law enforcement and youth of color.  The recommendations in this document include ending the militarization of law enforcement, racial profiling, and policies on use of force.  The full article can be found here.

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Strategies for Youth (SFY) has provided two new resources in its October newsletter.  The first of these resources, “The Parent Checklist“, is a tool that has been updated to address how school resource officers (SRO) are trained to handle and informed of the conditions of students with special needs and children with immigrant status.  The checklist also has sections to evaluate how parents are notified of complaints against their child, how resource officers are trained, the working agreements between law enforcement and schools, and SROs’ relationships with school faculty.  The second resource, “Be Her Resource“, is actually only referenced by SFY, but created by the National Black Women’s Justice Institute and the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality.  “Be Her Resource” offers insights into the disproportionate contact between for girls of color and law enforcement in schools.

Last Chances and New Opps

We also want to offer one final reminder that applications for the NJDC Gault Fellowship are due on Monday, Oct. 30.  Tell any recent law school graduates you know to hurry and get those references, resumes, and cover letters polished!  The full details for how to apply can be found here.

NJDC has also distributed info for an opening for a full-time training chief with the Massachusetts-based Committee for Public Counsel and an opening for an assistant public defender for juvenile delinquency in the Maryland Office of the Public Defender.  The deadline for applications are Nov. 6 and Nov. 13, respectively.

Those are all of the updates we have for now, but we will be providing more news and activities on next week.  Have a great weekend!

From a Non-Lawyer Perspective: 2017 Juvenile Defender Conference Review by Marcus Thompson

On Friday, Aug. 11, juvenile defenders from across N.C. united at the U.N.C. School of Government for the 2017 Juvenile Defender Conference — and I had the honor of being among the 50+ attendees!  Only approaching my first full year as a part of the Juvenile Defender family, I was pretty excited to be able to attend this annual conference and observe juvenile defenders from various districts interact and share ideas and experiences from their time in juvenile court.  In my short time with the Office of the Juvenile Defender, I have  had the opportunity to learn about case law, the “lawyer lingo”, and other things, but this training was a great experience to not only refresh my memory of materials I’ve encountered before, but to also gain further insight into the juvenile justice system.

Program Attorney Austine Long started the event, welcoming everyone and encouraging defenders to offer suggestions for future training courses before introducing Martin Moore, assistant public defender of Buncombe County.

Moore discussed detention hearings, going over the types and culture of detention, secure custody and strategies for preparing for hearings.  Moore acknowledged that some areas of the state do not always follow their own guidelines for detention hearings.  “No one is in a better position to help the juvenile than themselves,” Moore said, emphasizing to attendees the importance of listening to the client and knowing as much as possible about their history, mental health state, and relationships when preparing for hearings.  When he posed a question to the audience about juveniles being placed in adult facilities for pre-adjudication secure custody (which violates G.S. 7B-1905), some defenders stated that this is often a result of juveniles having lied about their age, which initially surprised me.  I would have assumed in some cases it may have been the error of the police.  One participant also stated that juvenile defenders should ensure that juveniles’ info is redacted if they are placed in an adult facility for any reason.  On the topic of shackling during secure custody hearings, Moore also stated that it was “generally something we should argue against” and others concurred, pointing out the most effective argument with judges was that shackling a child would require more paperwork.  Towards the end of his presentation, Moore gave attendees a couple of hypothetical scenarios and allowed them to role play to demonstrate how they argue on behalf of a client in a detention hearing.

Following Moore, Mary Stansell, assistant public defender of Wake County, and Assistant Juvenile Defender Kim Howes presented on motions to suppress.  The pair addressed In re Gault, what qualifies as custodial interrogation, children’s understanding of their rights, and violations of 4th amendment rights.  Stansell and Howes stressed that a statement can’t be used against a child in custody unless a parent is there, but children believe that the “right to remain silent” means “until a cop asks a question”, most likely due to being naturally submissive to adults and intimidated by authority figures.  The cases of Saldierna and J.D.B. were also addressed while discussing juveniles’ voluntary waiver of rights.  Identification of juveniles in court and search and seizure were also brought up before attendees were broken out into groups to work on a case study.

After lunch was provided, Terri Johnson, an attorney from Statesville, took the lead to discuss capacity, covering statutes, cases, and how to handle evaluations and issues.  Johnson emphasized looking for indicators of capacity such as age, nature and location of the offense, language barriers and a history of social, mental, or physical health issues.  She also talked about finding experts to evaluate a client’s capacity to proceed in court and common arguments made by assistant district attorneys and juvenile court counselors.  One common argument was that juveniles were manipulative and would lie simply to avoid getting into trouble.  Johnson also said that sometimes judges will commit juveniles due to lack of options or because they believe that just putting juveniles on probation will get them the mental health treatment that they need.  Having no interactions with the legal system in my teenage years beyond a couple of traffic violations, it was kind of disheartening to hear that this was the way people, especially kids with various problems, were perceived and treated in the courts.

Once Johnson finished her segment, LaToya Powell, assistant professor of public law and government for the U.N.C. School of Government, arrived to discuss updates to juvenile law in the past year.   I was very familiar with all of the cases that Powell discussed, having read her opinions and writing case summaries for our office, but the review of these cases was welcomed.  Powell succinctly summarized many of the most impactful cases, including Saldierna, T.K.D.E.P.  and the recent Raise the Age legislation.  While addressing Saldierna, Powell stated that a juvenile cannot waive the right to have a parent or attorney present during questioning due to special protections provided under General Statute 7B-2101.  After reviewing the whole series of decisions from SaldiernaPowell also noted that as of Aug. 3rd, the State had filed a motion for temporary stay on the case.  Once she summarized some of the other recent appellate court decisions, Powell went on to discuss the Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act, pointing out the benefits to everyone involved in the juvenile justice system, but also addressing some potential issues with the new laws, such as conflicting terms in the new gang suppression section with current criminal gang suppression rules.

Finally, James Drennan, adjunct and former Albert Coates professor for the U.N.C. School of Government, took the podium to lead the ethics portion of the training.  This part of the training was more like the psychology/philosophy class I wish I had during my college years and was applicable not only to juvenile defense, but all professions.  Drennan discussed implicit biases, which he said exists “in all of us.  No one is immune to it.”

“There is an elemental, primal need to feel like you are being treated fairly,” Drennan said after showing a video of two monkeys being rewarded, one with grapes and the other with cucumbers (resulting in its frustration) for performing the same task.  He shared statistics and reports that showed fairness is what is most desired in our court system by people, but more people from various backgrounds perceive the justice system as unfair to minorities.

Drennan also engaged attendees in several exercises to test their perception, demonstrating our fast-thinking and slow-thinking processes and how our intuitive feelings and programming from a young age affects our judgment.   Drennan spoke about how his own southern upbringing taught him to accept racial disparities as a norm and certain behaviors were maligned by the society he grew up in, and despite his life experiences, these ideas instilled in him from his youth still linger, unable to be unlearned.  He also said that controlling our fast-thinking processes when interacting with new groups or individuals and observing the patterns in our decision-making processes are important to help us to avoid our own prejudices.

Every presentation was engaging and surprisingly easy to follow, even for someone like myself, without a background in law.  While I’ve only observed a few juvenile court cases, it was good to know how other defenders prepare to present their juveniles’ cases and what must be considered prior to going in front of the judge.  It also provided clarity for me about the challenges from all sides that juvenile defenders must deal with inside and outside the courtroom.  It was also great being able to put more faces to the names I’ve seen in the past few months.  After this first year, I look forward to the 2018 Juvenile Defender Conference, and I hope to hear from and see more of the front line defenders.

If you missed the conference or would just like to review the presentations, you can find a copy of the course materials with additional references here.