OJD Week in Review: June 3 – 7

Happy Friday once again!  This week there are the normal reminders along with a new tip and one other announcement….

Monique WilliamsIntroducing…

We are proud to officially introduce the newest member of the OJD team, Project Attorney Monique Williams.  Coming from the Pitt County Public Defender Office, Monique joined the OJD team earlier this year to help facilitate OJD’s State Enhancement Program.  As project attorney, she has collaborated with the National Juvenile Defender Center to coordinate our recent Juvenile Training Immersion Program training, completed extensive investigations of juvenile courts in multiple counties, collected data, and devised new training to prepare N.C. juvenile defenders for the full implementation of Raise the Age.  Please welcome Monique and check out her bio on our website here.

 

Tip of the Week – Intake and Non-divertible

Did you know that if your client is accused of a non-divertible offense, then the juvenile court counselor is not supposed to conduct an intake interview? N.C.G.S. §7B-1701 states that once it has been determined that the complaint meets legal sufficiency and there are reasonable grounds to believe the juvenile has committed the offense, “[T]he juvenile court counselor, without further inquiry, shall authorize the complaint to be filed as a petition.” Non-divertible offenses include:

  • murder,
  • 1st or 2nd degree rape,
  • 1st or 2nd degree sex offense,
  • Arson,
  • Chapter 90 offenses that would be a felony if committed by an adult,
  • 1st degree burglary,
  • Crime against Nature; or
  • Any felony involving willful infliction of serious bodily injury or was committed by use of a deadly weapon.

This means that the court counselor should not be meeting with your client, recommending any evaluations (especially sex offender specific evaluations) prior to the approval and filing of the petitions.

Job and Fellowship Opportunities

The National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) is currently seeking an executive director.  The executive director will be responsible for fundraising, strategic planning, communicating with board members and supervising staff, and ensuring that the organization adheres to its intersectional and anti-racist practices and principles in its internal operations.  The deadline to apply for this position will be June 21.  To see the full job description, please go here.  To apply or if you have questions, please contact NJJN here.

Training

The required pre-registration deadline for the 2019 Summer Criminal Law Update Webinar will be 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 5.  This webinar, which will take place on June 7 from 1:30 to 3 p.m., will cover recent criminal law decisions issued by the North Carolina appellate courts and U.S. Supreme Court and will highlight significant criminal law legislation enacted by the North Carolina General Assembly.  School of Government criminal law experts John Rubin and Phil Dixon will discuss a wide range of issues affecting felony and misdemeanor cases in the North Carolina state courts.  The webinar, broadcast live from the School of Government, includes a dynamic visual presentation, live audio, and interactive Q&A.  This webinar is open to public defenders, private attorneys who handle or are interested in pursuing indigent criminal defense work, and other court personnel who handle criminal cases.  The webinar will offer 1.5 hours of CLE credit and qualifies for N.C. State Bar criminal law specialization credit.  The registration fee for private assigned counsel, contract attorneys, and other non-IDS employees is $75.00.  There is no registration fee for IDS state employees, thanks to support from the Office of Indigent Defense Services.  If you have questions related to webinar content, please contact John Rubin at 919.962.2498 or rubin@sog.unc.edu.  If you have questions about logistics, please Jessica O’Sullivan at 919.962.9754 or josullivan@sog.unc.edu.

Please save the dates 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.  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.  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.

The online registration deadline for the 2019 Defender Trial School, cosponsored by the School of Government and the North Carolina Office of Indigent Defense Services, will be June 25.  The event will be held Monday, July 8, through Friday, July 12, at the School of Government on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus.  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 roughly 29 hours of general CLE credit.  The Defender Trial School is open to public defenders and a limited number of private attorneys who perform a significant amount of appointed work.  IDS has expanded the number of fellowships available to cover the registration fee, but please note there is a limited number of fellowships.  If you have any questions or would like additional information, please email Kate Jennings or Professor John Rubin or call 919-962-3287/919-962-2498.  To register, find a fellowship application, see the agenda, or find any other information, please check out the course page here.

The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR)‘s Youth in Custody Certificate Program will be held July 22 – 26 at Georgetown University in partnership with Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators.  This training is designed to help juvenile justice system leaders and partners improve outcomes for youth in custodial settings, covering critical areas including racial and ethnic disparities, family engagement, assessment, case planning, facility-based education and treatment services, reentry planning and support, and culture change.

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That closes this week.  Please make sure to subscribe to the blog if you haven’t already and head over to Twitter and Facebook, like and follow us!  Also, N.C. juvenile defenders, please contact us to have your contact info added to/removed from our listserv.  And for people already practicing law, please visit the N.C. State Bar Legal Specialization page if you are interested in specializing in juvenile defense and get your application in before July 2!  We would love for you to join our N.C. juvenile defender family.  Enjoy weekend.

OJD and NJDC Host Training to Prepare for Raising the Age

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NJDC’s Amanda Powell engages in discussion with trainees

With Raise the Age’s full implementation now only several months away, OJD has been diligent in rolling out its North Carolina Juvenile Defender State Enhancement Program (SEP).  As part of this initiative, from Apr. 24 – 26 the Office of Juvenile Defender (OJD) partnered with the National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) to teach 10 dedicated N.C. juvenile defense attorneys NJDC’s Juvenile Training Immersion Program (JTIP).

During the three-day training program, three NJDC trainers engaged juvenile defenders in various hands-on activities and discussions in preparation to be effective regional trainers of other defenders across the state.  Discussions ranged from the difficulties of representing juveniles to cultivating showmanship and employing adult learning theory.  Defenders were also put into pairs and small groups for some activities to encourage collaboration.

As one of the first pieces in the SEP project, funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), the purpose of JTIP was to allow OJD to offer more quality training to defenders statewide, while also providing more support from defenders who practice in the communities and regions they will train in.  JTIP is meant specifically for trainer presentation, but does not offer substantive training on the new law.

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NJDC’s Amanda Powell discusses showmanship.

Also as a result of the OJJDP grant, Project Attorney Monique Williams joined the OJD team earlier this year.  As project attorney, she has done extensive investigations of juvenile courts in multiple counties, collected data, and devised new training to prepare N.C. juvenile defenders for the full implementation of Raise the Age.

“The JTIP training was absolutely the highlight of my tenure here as the Project Attorney for the OJJDP grant,” said Williams.  “I was able to sit in on some of the sessions, and the vast materials and concepts imparted by NJDC to our N.C. attorneys will not only enhance their instructional facilitation skills, but their practice skills as well.  I am certain that juvenile advocates across the state of N.C. will be educated and empowered by the content that will be shared with them in the coming future, and I am excited to see the positive impact in representation for our clients.”

Dorothy Hairston Mitchell, assistant clinical professor of law and supervising attorney of the Juvenile Law Clinic at North Carolina Central University (NCCU), was among the 10 participants selected for the program.  Mitchell and other members of NCCU’s staff were instrumental in assisting with preparations for the training.

“[North Carolina Central University] was so excited to host this training and the collaboration, working with Monique and everybody, was phenomenal,” Mitchell said.  “As a participant, I thought it was also phenomenal…  Really well put together.  I appreciated the way that they grouped us, they had us partnered up and, at least for my partner, I think we were perfectly paired.  And all of the people in our group, it seemed like everyone felt the same way…  I have not been to too many trainings where I come out like ‘Oh, my God, every single moment was just great!’, and this was one of them.”

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From right to left: NJDC’s Kristina Kersey, Tim Curry and Amanda Powell, and OJD’s Monique Williams

Although JTIP offers a more intensive 40-lesson program that spans multiple weeks, NJDC agreed to condense the training for the N.C. attorneys, providing them with the additional information, but simplifying the presentation to fit the three-day window.  Mitchell also stated that she was interested in learning more, saying that while she appreciated the experience, extending the training would have been the only thing she would have changed.  “It was very intense the way it was, but I would’ve appreciated [the longer training].  It was so good, that I had a longing for what we didn’t get.”

With JTIP now completed, the next steps in the SEP are to provide the regional and local trainings and follow up with trainers for future site visits.  Williams will also conduct further court observations, post-training evaluations, and surveys to help OJD assess what areas juvenile defenders may need more training in following Raise the Age’s full implementation.

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Group photo of new N.C. regional trainers and NJDC JTIP trainers.