Duke Law Hosts JLWOP Panel

JLWOP Panel

On Monday, Feb. 11, the Duke Criminal Law Society and Duke Law Professor Brandon L. Garrett (pictured speaking at the lectern stand on the right) hosted a panel discussion regarding their newest study, “Juvenile Life Without Parole in North Carolina.”  The panel featured (seated from left to right) David Andrews of the Office of Appellate DefenderBen Finholt of N.C. Prisoner Legal Services,  and N.C. State Representative Pricey Harrison.

The event opened with an introduction of the panel by Garrett, before panelists presented their own perspectives on the issue of juvenile life without parole (JLWOP) and the study released by Garrett and his colleagues.

Harrison emphasized the negative economic impact JLWOP has on N.C.  She reinforced the argument that juveniles could contribute much more to society if given the opportunity to get an education and job, rather than being held in a facility on hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars for a lifetime.

Finholt pointed out the State’s abuse of JLWOP.  “So far, as far as we know with the data we have, there has not been a single JLWOP resentencing hearing where the option of LWOP was on the table and the State has consented to taking it off the table,” he said.  “In every single resentencing hearing where LWOP is an option, the State has sought LWOP.  Every single time.  And I don’t think that matches what the U.S. Supreme Court has told us is supposed to happen in Roper, Graham, Miller, Montgomery.  I think in the whole line, it’s pretty clear that this should be rare.  This should only be used in exceptionally bad circumstances, and I think that is generally the way it has not been handled.”

Andrews also touched on Miller and its implications, disproportionate minority contact, and reform.

“When we talk about juvenile life without parole, we are talking about Miller v. Alabama,” Andrews said.  “What I love about this report that we have now, from Professor Garrett and all the other authors, is that it gives us perspective…  What’s interesting to me is that there is a disproportionate impact that this sentence has on race.  Children of color, these are the individuals who get LWOP.  There is a disproportionate impact on children of color.  We also know from the report that once a county imposes JLWOP, it is more likely to impose that sentence again.  It becomes entrenched.”

Andrews said from the perspective of trial attorneys dealing with JLWOP cases, they should pursue school records, interviews with family members, DSS records, and experts in fields such as adolescent brain science to dissuade a judge from sentencing a child to LWOP.

Andrews posed the question that really hit the core of the issue at hand, asking “Do we really want to sentence kids to die in prison?”

After every panelist had the opportunity to speak and before engaging in a question and answer session with members of the audience, Garrett reiterated the issue.  He pointed out that in the study, one-third of the individuals sentenced to LWOP were not the killers or had no intent to kill, but were convicted under a felony murder theory.

In response to one question about the discussions between legislators regarding juvenile justice, Harrison stated, “There are legislators who are considering continued reforms.  I know that many of us felt like Raise the Age… was an important first step and it took us nearly 15 years to really get on that.  It still needs work and I think that there are legislators interested in that and other juvenile justice issues…  There’s a lot going on.  It’s a different climate right now, but it is a little more conducive to making some of these improvements.”

In regards to Raise the Age and the impact he thought this study could potentially have on possible reforms going forward, Garrett said, “To kind of fix that you need to solve this juvenile life without parole problem.  In some ways it’s about the past.  And I think fixing that problem is a money-saver, but also highlights this moral issue that there should be a possibility of redemption, of rehabilitation for all juvenile sentences…  In some ways it’s a completely different question to Raise the Age.  It’s not about adult court versus juvenile court.  It’s just that there should be meaningful review for long juvenile sentences, no matter what the circumstances.  I think that it’s just a sensible position for the State to have.  It’s the right moral position, it follows the science of juvenile brain development, and it’s not inflexible.”

Garrett stated that the JLWOP study was just one of the projects he and his students were working on, including a traffic court study, parole, and non-juvenile life without parole.  He said this just happened to be one of the first they presented publicly.  To read the report and more from Duke Law’s JustScience Lab, please go here.

OJD Week in Review: Jan. 29 – Feb. 1

Happy first Friday and welcome to February!  Of course, this week there is a new tip, but we’ve also got another JJAC report, a new resource, and some new training announcements to share.

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Tip of the Week – 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.

JJAC Updates

The Juvenile Jurisdiction Advisory Committee (JJAC) has released its 2017 Annual Report.  This report features accomplishments of JJAC, data on the JCPC services, juvenile court services, juvenile facility populations,  education and clinical services, and more.  You can read the full report here.

Training

On March 15, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., the UNC School of Government (SOG) will be hosting the first North Carolina Criminal Justice Summit in the the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Carolina Club.  The Summit will be lead by SOG’s own Professor of Public Law and Government Jessica Smith and will feature national and state experts with broad-ranging ideological perspectives who will discuss key issues capturing attention in North Carolina and around the nation, including bail reform, overcriminalization, and barriers to re-entry, such as fines and fees, the criminal record, and collateral consequences.  Join the conversation as they explore how these issues impact justice, public safety and economic prosperity in North Carolina, and whether there is common ground to address them.  This event will be free to attend, lunch will be provided, and it offers 5 hours of CJE and free CLE credit.  Attendees are responsible for their travel expenses, including a $14 event parking fee.  For those arriving the night before, state rate and discounted rooms at local hotels will be available.  To apply for this course and find more details, please visit here.  Applicants will be notified regarding acceptance no later than February 15th.

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The Office of the Juvenile Defender will be hosting a Juvenile Court Basics CLE on Feb. 27 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Cumberland County Courthouse.  Assistant Juvenile Defender Kim Howes will be discussing the role of counsel, how to communicate with juvenile clients, dispositions, capacity, appeals, and so much more.  Questions and concerns are welcome.  Three general CLE credit hours are currently pending for this training.   Please contact Marcus Thompson by email or call 919-890-1650 if you have questions.

Save the date!  The 2019 Regional Training for Indigent Defense: Special Issues in Complex Felony Cases will be held on March 21 at the East Carolina Heart Institute at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C.  The training will focus on topics relevant to criminal law practitioners and is open to IDS contract attorneys and privately assigned counsel.  Participants will receive three general CLE credit hours.  Registration should open later this month.

New Resource

The National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) is delighted to share the updated 2018-2019 version of their Juvenile Defense Policy and Practice Career Resource Guide, which is intended to help law students prepare for a career in juvenile defense or juvenile justice policy reform.  Many law students, even those who are interested in criminal law, are not aware that juvenile defense, as a specialized practice, is a viable career option, and one that draws on many of the same motivations and skills as criminal defense.  Those students who are aware of juvenile defense have told NJDC they find it difficult to prepare for the job search in this field.  To that end, NDJC created this Career Resource Guide, which they hope will raise the profile of and help students prepare for a career in juvenile defense or juvenile justice policy reform.  The Guide includes information on coursework and externships that will help strengthen a candidate’s application in the juvenile defense field; resources to guide in the search for juvenile defense jobs, fellowships, and funding opportunities; and a list of offices around the country that provide employment and internship opportunities specific to juvenile defense.

From Around the Community

On Feb. 11 at 12:30 p.m., Duke Law School Professor Brandon L. Garrett and the Duke Criminal Law Society will be presenting and releasing their newest study, “Juvenile Life Without Parole in North Carolina”.  Garrett was awarded a grant from the Charles Koch Foundation to study evidence to inform criminal justice policy.  Through his research, Garrett prepared a report and will be sharing his findings with all attorneys working on juvenile cases at this event.  For further information, please direct questions to Callie Thomas.

Job Opportunities

On Dec. 1, Indigent Defense Services issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) in Caswell, Person, Alamance, Orange, and Chatham counties.  The current contracts for adult noncapital criminal cases at the trial level and per session court cases in those districts will expire on May 31 and renew on June 1.  The RFP (RFP #16-0002R) seeks services for adult noncapital criminal cases at the trial level, juvenile delinquency, abuse/neglect/dependency and termination of parental rights, and treatment courts.  Please note that the RFP will not seek offers for potentially capital cases at the trial level, direct appeals or post-conviction cases.  Also, the juvenile delinquency RFP will only include Caswell, Alamance, and Person counties.  The deadline for electronic offers is Feb. 15.  To access the RFP, please check here.

This is it for this week.  There should be more to come next Friday, but in the meantime, check out OJD’s Twitter and Facebook for posts throughout the week.

OJD Week in Review: Oct. 15 – 19

Welcome to another Friday and another blog post!  This week there are some new job opportunities, a new resource and some training opportunities approaching quickly.

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Job Opportunities

The Citizens for Juvenile Justice (CFJJ) in Massachusetts will be accepting applications for a new executive director until Monday, Oct. 22.  The selected candidate will be responsible for fundraising, meeting with stakeholders, representing CFJJ to the public, managing overall operations and communicating with the Board.  For the full description please view here.

The Office of the Appellate Defender (OAD) is seeking an entry-level assistant appellate defender.  The ideal candidate will have the ability to analyze facts, accept advice and learn from assigned mentors, identify relevant law, apply facts and communicate complex legal concepts effectively, and treat clients with respect.  Applications for this position will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Nov. 4.  For the full job description and to apply, please visit here.

Training

On Oct. 30, from 2 – 5 p.m., OJD will be hosting a Juvenile Court Basics CLE at the Surry County Courthouse.  There are 3 CLE credit hours pending for this training.  There is no need to RSVP and all are welcome to attend.  Please contact our office if you have any questions.

On Nov. 16, the UNC School of Government will be hosting a Back to School CLE from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The training offers 6.25 hours of CLE credit, including an hour of ethics and an optional hour of substance abuse credit.  Topics will include civil and criminal case law and legislative updates, the opioid epidemic, and a review and preview of the U.S. Supreme Court.  Registration will be $300 and the deadline to register will be Oct. 31.  Lunch will be provided.  To register please visit the UNC SOG site here.

New Resources

PEW Charitable Trusts has recently released Juveniles in Custody for Noncriminal Acts, an interactive data visualization tool that shows a state-by-state breakdown of youth who are detained due to probation violations and status offenses.  This interactive tool uses data on the confinement of youth in each state by percentage, number, and rate per 100,000 youth.  You can access the tool here.

That covers everything for this week.  Be sure to check out our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter for other content and N.C. juvenile defenders can contact us to be added to our listserv as well.  Have a great weekend!

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OJD Week in Review: Mar. 5-9

This week we’ve got a new update regarding Raise the Age, a valuable resource for defenders and, as usual, we’ve got some new training opportunities and job opportunities for you as well.

New JJAC Report

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The Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee (JJAC) released its first report on Mar. 1, which can now be found on our “Raise the Age” page under the “Information for Defenders” tab.  We’ve added a new section to the “Raise the Age” page dedicated to providing updates from JJAC to allow everyone to follow the Committee’s progress.  This report details the key implementation dates for initiatives proposed in the Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act, the Committee’s requests for a unified video conferencing system, recommendations for transfer and housing of juveniles, requests from JJAC, OJD, and the Administrative Office of the Courts for additional funding, staff and other resources, dates for community and stakeholder forums, and other recommendations and plans of JJAC and its subcommittees.  A summary of the JJAC meeting prior to the report can be found here on our site.

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 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 has already hosted one informational webinar on Mar. 8 and will host the next on Apr. 2.  To register for one of this webinar, please visit here.  Applications for the Institute (found here) must be submitted by Apr. 23.

 

Training

JD Leadship Summit 2018Save the Date!  NJDC will be hosting the 2018 Juvenile Defender Leadership Summit in St. Paul, Minnesota on Oct. 26-28.  We will be sure to provide further details for this event as they arrive.

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.

On March 12, 2018, from 4 to 5 p.m. ET, the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators‘ Positive Youth Outcomes Committee will host “Classroom Excellence in Secure Residential Facilities.” This webinar will highlight work to improve the quality of education provided to at-risk, low-income, minority teenagers and young adults who are attending schools in alternative settings, including youth correctional facilities.  You can register for the webinar here.

New Resources

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has released the Juvenile Residential Facility Census Databook, the latest addition to the Data Analysis Tools section of its Statistical Briefing Book. National and state data from 2000 to 2014 describing the characteristics of residential placement facilities that hold juvenile offenders are now available for analysis. This includes operation, classification, size, and crowding.

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.

And that sums it up for this week.  We will have some more updates to our social media channels and more news you can use in the coming weeks, so please check back with us often.  Invitations are still open for guest bloggers and podcast guests as well, so feel free to reach out.  Until next week, we wish you well!

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: Jan. 15-19

Good afternoon N.C. Juvenile Defender Community.  It has been a rather eventful week, depending on where you are, and we hope everyone is still warm and safe.  This week we would like recap a few important things.

ICYMI

Earlier in the week, Assistant Appellate Defender David Andrews offered a great breakdown of the updated North Carolina Juvenile Defender manual, the first new edition since 2008.  The new manual offers defenders instruction based on changes to the Juvenile Code over the past decade, including sections on procedures for suppression motions and Raise the Age legislation, along with expanded sections on other topics covered in the original.  Andrews co-wrote the new manual along with John Rubin, Albert Coates Professor of Public Law and Government at the UNC School of Government.  Please take a moment to read David’s article here and access the new manual on the School of Government’s website.

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Also, earlier in the week our office released our “2017 Year in Review”, highlighting some of the juvenile defense community’s biggest achievements in the past year, including the passage of Raise the Age and commemorating the 50th anniversary of In re Gault.  In our post we also provide our plan going forward to evaluate contracts and provide training in response to the increase in juvenile jurisdiction.  To read our brief on some of our successes and plans from 2017, please check out our article here.

Quick Reminders

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) will be supporting National Drug and Alcohol Facts week, sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.  From Jan. 22-28, these organizations will be supporting community events nationwide and beyond that bring people together, from adolescents to experts, to discuss alcohol and drug abuse.  The National Institute on Drug Abuse will be providing free booklets about how to deal with drug abuse, in addition to other educational resources.

OJJDP will also be accepting nominations for their 2018 National Missing Children’s Day awards until Jan. 24.  They are seeking nominees for their Missing Children’s Citizen Award and Missing Children’s Child Protection Award.  These awards are meant to recognize private individuals who helped to recover a missing/abducted child and professionals, such as law enforcement officers and child protective service agents, who have worked to protect children from abuse and victimization.  For further details and to submit your nominations, please check here.

That will be all for now, but warmer weather, better days, and more news are ahead!  Don’t forget to check back early and often and follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well.

 

OJD Week In Review: Nov. 13-17

This week we would like to bring attention to a few training opportunities and at least one new job opportunity.

Good Ol’ Education

yoda trainingThe Office of the Juvenile Defender and North Carolina Advocates for Justice will be hosting a free juvenile defense CLE in Courtroom 1 of the Wayne County Courthouse on 224 E. Walnut St. in Goldsboro, N.C. on Thursday, Dec. 14.  The training, titled “Juvenile Defense – Effective Representation Now and For the Future”, will be held from 1-4 p.m. and a networking lunch will be provided from 12-1.  Presenters will include IDS Regional Defender Valerie Pearce, Assistant Juvenile Defender Kim Howes, and Juvenile Defender Eric Zogry.  Topics discussed will include detention advocacy, the role of counsel and dispositional advocacy and tips and expected practice changes following the implementation of Raise the Age.  Please RSVP with Valerie Pearce by email or call 919-667-3369.

 

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) has released a bulletin on trauma-informed classrooms, which examines how trauma on students and adverse life experiences can impact their behavior in the classroom and offers strategies for creating trauma-informed classrooms.  In addition to this, NCJFCJ will also be hosting a free 90-minute webinar titled “Trauma-Informed Classrooms: Moving Theory into Practice” on Dec. 6, starting at noon.  The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention also has a webpage dedicated to raising awareness on trauma’s impact on children exposed to violence, which can be found here.

The Council of State Governments Justice Center will also be leading a webinar on Tuesday, Nov. 28, from 2-3 p.m. titled “Collateral Consequences of Juvenile Adjudication – How Juvenile Records Can Affect Youth Even After the Case is Over.”  To register and find more info on this please check here.

Your Future Job (?)

The Council of State Governments Justice Center has an opening for a project manager in juvenile justice.  This is a regular full-time position located in either New York, N.Y. or Bethesda, MD.  For the full details and to apply for these positions (and others), please visit their website here.

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That is all for this week, but we would still like to remind the N.C. juvenile defense community to feel free to reach out to us with any questions, comments, or concerns.  Also, feel free to contribute your voice to our blog or podcast.  New points of view are always welcome!  In the meantime, have a great weekend and be assured there will be more to come soon!