OJD Week in Review: Aug. 13 – 17

Welcome back, everyone!  There is light news this week, but there are a few tidbits of information that might be of interest to you below.

Another OJD Spotlight On…

Before we get to the usual news, we would like to bring attention to a young man from Garner who wrote to our office recently with a personal request regarding school safety.  Lance Murphy, 16, of Garner Magnet High School, wrote Juvenile Defender Eric Zogry citing his concerns with the recent tragedies that have taken place within schools, including the one in Parkland, Fla.  In his writing, Murphy cites data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics and inquires about programs to aid at-risk youth, before concluding with the statement below:

“As North Carolina’s Juvenile Defender, I ask that you support programs that help rehabilitate juvenile offenders.  I also ask that you support programs that may help prevent at-risk youth from committing crimes to begin with.  Examples of this could include after-school care, community support groups, community sport leagues, community service, and job skills support.  All children should have an opportunity to become outstanding adults, even those who have made bad choices in the past.  I thank you for your service and time.  I anxiously await your reply.”

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While Zogry has sent his own reply to Murphy, perhaps we should also consider his heartfelt request as a call to action for all juvenile justice advocates and service providers.  It’s great that kids such as Murphy are considering preventative measures to keep more youth out of the justice system and addressing the fact that all kids, regardless of their actions, deserve the chance to prove themselves to be better adults.  We commend Murphy for speaking out on behalf of his peers and we also want to thank all those people who have actively worked to improve our communities and protect the future of our youth!

From Around the Community

cropped-whiteojd.pngOn Wednesday, Aug. 22, from 12 to 2 p.m., the Office of the Juvenile Defender will be hosting a Raise the Age Regional Informational Meeting in the Law Library of the Watauga County Courthouse (842 W. King Street) in Boone.  Juvenile defenders in District 24 and its surrounding districts are encouraged to attend.  During this meeting we will be discussing the Raise the Age law, OJD’s plans in response to the law, and what issues should be addressed going forward.  We encourage attendees to bring their lunch, as well as questions, comments and concerns.  We have a few other similar information meetings planned in other parts of the state, but if attorneys are interested in receiving more information, please feel free to reach out to our office and we will be happy to schedule a meeting/training with you!

On Thursday, Aug. 23, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., the OJJDP-funded Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program will host the “Internet Crimes Against Children/KeepSafe Incident Response Tool for Schools” webinar.  The webinar will discuss a free resource designed to help schools respond to technology-related incidents, including cyberbullying, sexting, hacking, and threats of violence.  The webinar will also identify how school officials can use this tool to work with law enforcement and other stakeholders to investigate and develop responses to all types of technology-related incidents.  If you are interested, please register here.

Training

Registration is now open for the 2018 Misdemeanor Defender Training, which will take place at the UNC-Chapel Hill campus from Sept. 18 – 21.  This training, cosponsored by the Office of Indigent Defense Services and the School of Government, will be an introductory program for attorneys who are new to handling misdemeanor cases and will offer 21.5 CLE credit hours, including one hour of ethics/professional responsibility credit and qualifies for criminal law specialization credit.  Attendees can expect sessions that will cover topics such as impaired driving, probation violations, ethical issues in district court, and much more.  The registration deadline will be 5 p.m. on Aug. 30 and the deadline for the hotel block will be Aug. 28.  There will be no onsite registration.  The fee for privately assigned counsel will be $560, but the program will be free for IDS state employees.  There is a new online registration system being used that will require first-time users to create an account, but if any issues should arise, please contact registration@sog.unc.edu/919.966.4414 or check the FAQ page.  For further questions contact either Tanya Jisa or Phil Dixon,Jr.

Save the Date!  The Bridging The Gap III Seminar will be in Winston-Salem September 20-21, 2018.  Participants in this seminar will be awarded 10.25 CLE credit hours, including 1.5 credit hours in ethics, professional responsibility and professionalism.  The registration fee is $115.00.  The focus of this seminar will be on client and family relations, and pretrial resolution.  Registration and hotel information will be published in early July.  A block of 40 rooms will be available once the registration is published.  For an attorney to attend he or she must have at least 7 years’ experience.  The “ gap” in Bridging The Gap describes lawyers who have never taken murder cases and are considering taking them on, and lawyers who have taken non-capital murder cases and are considering taking capital cases.  The seminar, hosted by the Office of the Capital Defender, focuses on issues relevant to both non-capital and capital murder cases.  If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Terry Alford.

That sums it up for this week!  The near-future for news in the juvenile defense community is looking good, so check back soon!

OJD Week in Review: June 18 – 22

Welcome back for the weekly roundup.  There are a couple of new job opportunities added and approaching deadlines we’re highlighting, but in other news…

This week we’d like to give a shout-out to the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts for the successful launch of their new website, nccourts.gov.  Replacing the original nccourts.org, this more user-focused, mobile-friendly counterpart is meant to enable easier searches for court dates and other information while providing better accessibility.

 

Also, please check out Austine Long’s post from the On the Civil Side blog in which she discusses the Juvenile Reentry Second Chance Project.  In the blog, Long talks about how the project was established and the services it offers to youth to reduce recidivism and promote positive outcomes for them.  Check it out here.

Training

The Office of the Juvenile Defender will be hosting a Juvenile Court Basics Training on next Friday,  June 29.  This training will be held at 320 Chestnut Street, Wilmington, N.C. 28401 in the 6th floor training room from 9 a.m. until noon.  Three general CLE credit hours have been approved.  Attorneys from all districts are invited to attend.  Space is limited, so please contact Alexis Perkins or Lyana Hunter to register in advance.  We hope to see you there!  Other Juvenile Court Basics trainings could be arranged at a district near you in the future!

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.

Save the Date!  The Bridging The Gap III Seminar will be in Winston-Salem September 20-21, 2018.  Participants in this seminar will be awarded 10.25 CLE credit hours, including 1.5 credit hours in ethics, professional responsibility and professionalism.  The registration fee is $115.00.  The focus of this seminar will be on client and family relations, and pretrial resolution.  Registration and hotel information will be published in early July.  A block of 40 rooms will be available once the registration is published.  For an attorney to attend he or she must have at least 7 years’ experience.  The “ gap” in Bridging The Gap describes lawyers who have never taken murder cases and are considering taking them on, and lawyers who have taken non-capital murder cases and are considering taking capital cases.  The seminar, hosted by the Office of the Capital Defender, focuses on issues relevant to both non-capital and capital murder cases.  If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Terry Alford.

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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 the next few weeks with a formal announcement and full details.

Job Opportunity

 

The Missouri State Public Defender is currently accepting applications for four positions for the Children’s Defense Team located in St. Louis city: a juvenile disposition specialist, an investigator, a legal assistant, and an assistant public defender.  The Juvenile Disposition Specialist is responsible for assisting counsel in preparing for and litigating cases in St. Louis City, County, and St. Charles.  The Investigator is responsible for assisting public defender attorneys by identifying, locating, and preserving case evidence necessary to the criminal defense of a client.  The Legal Assistant is responsible for assisting attorneys with client intake interviews and case preparations.  The Assistant Public Defender is responsible for providing representation to indigent clients in all juvenile proceedings including, but not limited to, detention hearings, adjudications, disposition hearings, and representing children who have been certified to adult court.  The application deadline is WednesdayJune 27.  For more info about these positions and how to apply, please check here.

The National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) is currently seeking a research manager.  The ideal candidate will have at least 5 years of experience, a commitment to advancing improvements in juvenile defense policy and practice, a love of research, writing, and critical thinking, and an eagerness to build a career at the intersection of youth justice and social change.  The selected candidate will be responsible for developing and executing research efforts to advance NJDC’s mission, and strengthening the empirical qualities and evaluating the impact of NJDC’s work on the community.  This position will remain open until filled, but applications received by July 6 will be given priority.  For more information please check here.

The Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) in Massachusetts is currently accepting applications for a Deputy Chief Counsel of the Private Counsel Division, who is a member of the senior management team that develops and implements fiscal, operational, human resource, and legislative policies.  The Private Counsel Division is responsible for delivering legal services to indigent clients through assigned private attorneys in criminal defense trial and post-conviction cases as well as commitment and registration cases for persons convicted of sex offenses.  Applications will be accepted until filled but priority will be given to applications received by July 10, 2018.  For more info please check here..

The Southern Coalition for Social Justice still has an opening for an executive director.   The ideal candidate will have strong organizational, communication, and leadership skills, a demonstrated passion for social and racial justice, and experience in developing successful relationships in diverse communities.  For the full job description, please check the post here, and to apply please send all queries here.

SCSJ

 

From Around the Community

Standard registration for the 81st Annual National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges Conference is still available until July 2.  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.

81st Annual Conference

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.

 

Thank you for reading through this week’s wrap-up.  There will be more to come in the near future, and please remember that we are always available to help you in anyway we can!

Job Opportunity: Contracts Administrator for Indigent Defense Services

 

The Office of Indigent Defense Services seeks a qualified Contracts Administrator to develop, negotiate, enter into, and administer contracts with individual attorneys, law firms, and non-profits for indigent representation throughout North Carolina, primarily through a Request for Proposals (RFP) process.  (Please find the basic job description and requirements below, or for more info and to apply, please visit here.)

Responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

  • Assist in evaluation of proposals received in response to RFPs, including coordinating the selection committee(s).
  • For small contracts not subject to the RFP requirements, work with Regional Defenders, local bars, and judicial officials to identify qualified attorneys and to develop and enter into contracts on behalf of IDS.
  • Establish quality and cost measures to evaluate contracts.
  • Monitor case reporting systems; work with IDS’ Information Technology Director to maintain and enhance an on-line contractor case reporting system; and collect and analyze data from contractors.
  • Develop appropriate policies governing contractors and staff relevant committees of the Indigent Defense Services (IDS) Commission that deal with issues relevant to contracts.
  • Monitor payments to contractors and assist with resolving problems or disputes with contractors; and work with Regional Defenders to monitor attorney performance through data analysis and site visits.
  • Assist with developing lists of qualified attorneys for appointment on a case-by-case basis and supervising, evaluating, and monitoring indigent representation around the state.
  • Draft and enter contracts related to general IDS office operations as needed; and perform other duties as assigned.

The successful candidate will be flexible and able to work well with a multi-disciplinary team.

This position reports to the IDS Assistant Director and requires occasional travel across the state.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities / Competencies

Knowledge of:  the NC judicial system; criminal sentencing; methods of providing legal services to indigent defendants and respondents; and contracts and contract administration.

Skills in:  contract management; developing service delivery systems and identifying the infrastructure to support those systems; both quantitative and qualitative data analysis; database development and long-term management; on-line survey programs such as SurveyMonkey; and Microsoft Excel.

Ability to:  effectively communicate in oral and written form; establish and maintain excellent interpersonal relationships; learn new programs and systems; work well with a multi-disciplinary team; and effectively work with groups of diverse interests.

Minimum Education and Experience Requirements

Management prefers candidates with a Juris Doctorate from an ABA accredited law school with a license to practice law in North Carolina or Master’s Degree in Public Administration or related field and three (3) years of relevant experience. Management will consider applicants with a four-year college/university degree and five (5) years of relevant experience.  Relevant experience includes:

  • managing contracts for a public defense, criminal justice, or public sector organization; or oversight of management systems for a public defense, criminal justice, or public sector organization.
  • experience in the defense of criminal or other cases under IDS’ oversight is a plus.

Describe in your cover letter a new software system or application you learned in the past year and how you went about learning the new software system or application.  Your cover letter should also describe any experience you have with the design, use, or evaluation of work-related databases or other software tools.

Attach cover letter,  résumé, and the names and contact information for two (2) professional references.
 

 

OJD Joins Facebook!

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It is our pleasure to announce that as of yesterday the Office of the Juvenile Defender is now on Facebook!  We have heard suggestions from the N.C. juvenile defender community and we have finally created a page for people to have discussions, share their own posts, and leave questions and concerns for us through Facebook now.  We encourage everyone to please like and follow us now at https://www.facebook.com/NCOJD!

NCCALJ Presents Final Report to the Chief Justice

On March 15th, the North Carolina Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice (NCCALJ) released its final report to Chief Justice Mark Martin during a ceremony at the Supreme Court of North Carolina.

Chieft Justice Receives Final Report

The NCCALJ was convened by Chief Justice Martin in September 2015, tasked with reviewing the N.C. Judicial System and making recommendations for improving the administration of justice.  The sixty-five members of the Commission were divided into five committees, with each committee presenting its own final assessment in one of five areas after conducting thorough research, consulting with experts, and engaging in collaborative discussions, as well as gathering input from the public.

This report includes the recommendation to raise the juvenile age to 18 for all crimes except violent felonies and traffic offenses.  You can review our previous summary of this recommendation for the juvenile reinvestment plan on our blog, or you can also view the Criminal Investigation and Adjudication Committee’s final report here.

In addition to the recommendation to raise the juvenile age, the Criminal Investigation and Adjudication Committee’s report includes recommendations for improving indigent defense services, pretrial justice and criminal case management.  The other committees cover Legal Professionalism, Public Trust and Confidence, Technology and Civil Justice.

“The Commission’s recommendations create a framework for dramatic, systemic improvement in the administration of justice in North Carolina,” said Chief Justice Martin.  “The work of this blue-ribbon Commission will help ensure that North Carolina’s Judicial Branch meets the needs and expectations that the people of North Carolina have for fair, modern and impartial courts.”

The N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts, along with other components of the Judicial Branch, will implement the Commission’s recommendations.

For more information, you can find the final report and the appendices here.  For inquiries from the media, please contact Sharon Gladwell at sharon.e.gladwell@nccourts.org or 919-890-1394.