OJD Week in Review: Dec. 3 – 7

Happy Hanukkah and happy first Friday!  This week will be rather special, not because it is the first Friday of December, but because it is the first Friday that our blog will have a new section where we will bring you a tip of the week!  These tips will be short, sweet nuggets of wisdom and suggestions for juvenile defenders to apply in practice.  Check out the first tip of 2018 below along with the usual training and job opportunity reminders.

hanukkah

Tip of the Week – Records, Records and More Records

There is a universe of documented information about your client.  First, review and obtain copies of the clerks file, the official record of the court.  Get a copy of the N.C. Juvenile Online Information Network (NC-JOIN) file from the court counselor’s office.  You don’t need a court order for this (7B-3001(c)(1)), but we have a form to help expedite the request.  Obtain a release form(s) from your client and the parent/guardian, and go hunting!  Educational records, mental health records, involvement with the Department of Social Service, placement records.  You may also consider housing or employment documentation if it helps your case.

Training

i-love-training-trainings-my-favorite

From March 25- 29, 2019, at the Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR) will be hosting the Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile Justice Certificate Program.  This is an intensive training  hosted in partnership with the Center for Children’s Law and Policy (CCLP) and designed to support local jurisdictions in their efforts to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in their juvenile justice systems.   The training will allow participants to develop and implement a Capstone Project designed to reduce the disparate treatment in their communities.  CJJR will only accept a limited number of applicants, so please visit the website to view the curriculum and learn how to apply to the training.  Applications will be accepted until Friday, Dec. 14.  For more information, please visit the training website.

Job Opportunities

On Dec. 1, Indigent Defense Services (IDS) 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, 2019 and renew on June 1, 2019.  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, 2019.  To access the RFP, please check here.

The Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS), the Massachusetts public defender agency, is currently seeking a director for its newly created Strategic Litigation Unit.  The Strategic Litigation Unit will be responsible for litigation aimed at achieving systemic and institutional reform in all of CPCS’s criminal and civil practice areas.  The Strategic Litigation Director will lead those efforts and will work with other attorneys, advocacy organizations, and clients to promote justice for and protect the rights of individuals who are parties in criminal and civil right-to-counsel proceedings.  The director’s responsibilities will include criminal and civil litigation and administrative advocacy.  Litigation will include both trial and appellate advocacy in state and federal court.  Depending upon the matter at issue, the director may serve as lead counsel, co-counsel, consultant, amicus curiae, or provide technical support.  The position will be posted until filled.  To find further information and to apply, please visit here.

Bay Area Legal Aid is currently seeking a Youth Justice Staff Attorney who will provide civil legal services designed to meet the individualized needs of delinquency-involved youth, with a particular focus on SSI cases for children with disabilities.  This position is based out of Alameda County, CA, but the position may include travel throughout the Bay Area.  The Youth Justice Attorney’s responsibilities include client interviews, negotiations with governmental agencies/opposing parties, research and writing, and representation at administrative and court proceedings.  The attorney is also expected to engage in outreach with probation, social services, law enforcement, youth service providers, and other community organizations.  Beyond SSI cases, the position may also include a smaller, mixed caseload in areas such as special education, health access, public benefits (e.g. foster care benefits, CalWORKs, and General Assistance), legal permanency, housing, and other work.  Clients served by this project experience high rates of sexual exploitation, abuse and neglect, and mental health-related issues which the attorney will be expected to navigated in providing legal assistance.  Review of applications will begin immediately and continue on a rolling basis, but applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.  For a full description of the job responsibilities and the application process, please check here.

That wraps up this week.  Please check us out on Twitter and join us on the OJD Facebook page for other news and updates throughout the week.  Check back in next Friday for more tips and (possibly) more news before the year’s end!

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OJD Week in Review: Nov. 26 – 30

Salutations and happy Friday to all!  This week we’ve got a decent haul of fresh updates and reminders for upcoming deadlines.  Of course, in the holiday season things will eventually slow down again, but we’ve got other content planned before the end of the year for you…

Job Opportunities

The Office of Indigent Defense Services (IDS) is currently seeking a full-time Project Attorney for a two-year contract position with the Office of the Juvenile Defender (OJD).  This is a federal grant-funded position meant to improve the training capabilities of OJD and prepare juvenile defense attorneys for the changes that will result from the Raise the Age legislation.  The Project Attorney’s duties will include planning and oversight of juvenile defense training statewide and recruitment of local trainers.  The selected candidate will report to the Juvenile Defender and IDS Contract Administrator.  The ideal candidate will have a minimum of three years of juvenile defense or appellate court experience, will be able to travel statewide, and possess experience in educating/training of professionals.  Applications will be accepted until Monday, Dec. 3, 2018.  For more information about the position, please check the post here.

IGotTheJob

The Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS), the Massachusetts public defender agency, is currently seeking a director for its newly created Strategic Litigation Unit.  The Strategic Litigation Unit will be responsible for litigation aimed at achieving systemic and institutional reform in all of CPCS’s criminal and civil practice areas.  The Strategic Litigation Director will lead those efforts and will work with other attorneys, advocacy organizations, and clients to promote justice for and protect the rights of individuals who are parties in criminal and civil right-to-counsel proceedings.  The director’s responsibilities will include criminal and civil litigation and administrative advocacy.  Litigation will include both trial and appellate advocacy in state and federal court.  Depending upon the matter at issue, the director may serve as lead counsel, co-counsel, consultant, amicus curiae, or provide technical support.  The position will be posted until filled.  To find further information and to apply, please visit here.

Bay Area Legal Aid is currently seeking a Youth Justice Staff Attorney who will provide civil legal services designed to meet the individualized needs of delinquency-involved youth, with a particular focus on SSI cases for children with disabilities.  This position is based out of Alameda County, CA, but the position may include travel throughout the Bay Area.  The Youth Justice Attorney’s responsibilities include client interviews, negotiations with governmental agencies/opposing parties, research and writing, and representation at administrative and court proceedings.  The attorney is also expected to engage in outreach with probation, social services, law enforcement, youth service providers, and other community organizations.  Beyond SSI cases, the position may also include a smaller, mixed caseload in areas such as special education, health access, public benefits (e.g. foster care benefits, CalWORKs, and General Assistance), legal permanency, housing, and other work.  Clients served by this project experience high rates of sexual exploitation, abuse and neglect, and mental health-related issues which the attorney will be expected to navigated in providing legal assistance.  Review of applications will begin immediately and continue on a rolling basis, but applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.  For a full description of the job responsibilities and the application process, please check here.

From Around the Community

From the On the Civil Side blog, Professor Jacquelyn Greene discusses delinquency dispositional orders.  In this blog, Greene breaks down what factors need to be considered when deciding dispositional orders for juveniles.  You can read the full blog post here.

From the creators of the weekly public radio program This American Life, a spinoff podcast called Serial has an episode focused on youth at an Ohio juvenile correctional facility.  You can listen to the podcast here.  (Shout-out to David Andrews for bringing this piece to our attention!)

Training

i-love-training-trainings-my-favorite

From March 25- 29, 2019, at the Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR) will be hosting the Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile Justice Certificate Program.  This is an intensive training  hosted in partnership with the Center for Children’s Law and Policy (CCLP) and designed to support local jurisdictions in their efforts to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in their juvenile justice systems.   The training will allow participants to develop and implement a Capstone Project designed to reduce the disparate treatment in their communities.  CJJR will only accept a limited number of applicants, so please visit the website to view the curriculum and learn how to apply to the training.  Applications will be accepted through December 14, 2018.  For more information, please visit the training website.

On Dec. 7, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., the UNC School of Government will be hosting the 2018 Winter Criminal Law Update webinar.  This webinar 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 Shea Denning and Phil Dixon Jr. will discuss a wide range of issues affecting felony and misdemeanor cases in the North Carolina state courts.  Participants will receive 1.5 hours of general CLE credit and this qualifies for NC State Bar criminal law specialization credit.  All public defenders, private attorneys who handle or are interested in pursuing indigent criminal defense work, and other court personnel who handle criminal cases are invited.  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.   Please visit here to register online and find additional information about the webinar.  Pre-registration is required; the deadline is 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 5.  As it is a live broadcast, the webinar is NOT subject to the State Bar’s 6-hour per year credit limit for computer-based CLE.  For more info, please contact Program Manager Tanya Jisa or call 919.843.8981.

That will be all for now.  If you have any articles, videos, or podcasts from around the community or even something personal related to juvenile justice that you would like to submit, please feel free to reach out!  We’re always happy to see more engagement and have more collaboration!  Until next time, enjoy the weekend!

 

OJD Week in Review: Nov. 12 – 16

Hello all!  This week (and the next, of course) is a short one and there is no fresh news to share, but please review the info below for upcoming deadlines on jobs and training opportunities if you’re still interested!

Job Opportunities

The Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS), the Massachusetts public defender agency, is currently seeking a director for its newly created Strategic Litigation Unit.  The Strategic Litigation Unit will be responsible for litigation aimed at achieving systemic and institutional reform in all of CPCS’s criminal and civil practice areas.  The Strategic Litigation Director will lead those efforts and will work with other attorneys, advocacy organizations, and clients to promote justice for and protect the rights of individuals who are parties in criminal and civil right-to-counsel proceedings.  The director’s responsibilities will include criminal and civil litigation and administrative advocacy.  Litigation will include both trial and appellate advocacy in state and federal court.  Depending upon the matter at issue, the director may serve as lead counsel, co-counsel, consultant, amicus curiae, or provide technical support.  The position will be posted until filled; preference will be given to candidates who apply prior to November 26, 2018.  To find further information and to apply, please visit here.

Bay Area Legal Aid is currently seeking a Youth Justice Staff Attorney who will provide civil legal services designed to meet the individualized needs of delinquency-involved youth, with a particular focus on SSI cases for children with disabilities.  This position is based out of Alameda County, CA.  But the position may include travel throughout the Bay Area.  The Youth Justice Attorney’s responsibilities include client interviews, negotiations with governmental agencies/opposing parties, research and writing, and representation at administrative and court proceedings.  The attorney is also expected to engage in outreach with probation, social services, law enforcement, youth service providers, and other community organizations.  Beyond SSI cases, the position may also include a smaller, mixed caseload in areas such as special education, health access, public benefits (e.g. foster care benefits, CalWORKs, and General Assistance), legal permanency, housing, and other work.  Clients served by this project experience high rates of sexual exploitation, abuse and neglect, and mental health-related issues which the attorney will be expected to navigated in providing legal assistance.  Review of applications will begin immediately and continue on a rolling basis, but applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.  For a full description of the job responsibilities and the application process, please check here.

Training

i-love-training-trainings-my-favorite

From March 25- 29, 2019, at the Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR) will be hosting the Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile Justice Certificate Program.  This is an intensive training  hosted in partnership with the Center for Children’s Law and Policy (CCLP) and designed to support local jurisdictions in their efforts to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in their juvenile justice systems.   The training will allow participants to develop and implement a Capstone Project designed to reduce the disparate treatment in their communities.  CJJR will only accept a limited number of applicants, so please visit the website to view the curriculum and learn how to apply to the training.  Applications will be accepted through December 14, 2018.  For more information, please visit the training website.

On Dec. 7, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., the UNC School of Government will be hosting the 2018 Winter Criminal Law Update.  This webinar 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 Shea Denning and Phil Dixon Jr. will discuss a wide range of issues affecting felony and misdemeanor cases in the North Carolina state courts.  Participants will receive 1.5 hours of general CLE credit and this qualifies for NC State Bar criminal law specialization credit.  All public defenders, private attorneys who handle or are interested in pursuing indigent criminal defense work, and other court personnel who handle criminal cases are invited.  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.   Please visit here to register online and find additional information about the webinar.  Pre-registration is required; the deadline is 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 5.  As it is a live broadcast, the webinar is NOT subject to the State Bar’s 6-hour per year credit limit for computer-based CLE.  For more info, please contact Program Manager Tanya Jisa or call 919.843.8981.

That will be all for now.  We wish everyone a safe and happy weekend until next time!

OJD Week in Review: Nov. 5 – 9

Hello again and a happy Friday to you!  This week we’ve got one new job opportunity and one new training program to announce.

Job Opportunities

The Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS), the Massachusetts public defender agency, is currently seeking a director for its newly created Strategic Litigation Unit.  The Strategic Litigation Unit will be responsible for litigation aimed at achieving systemic and institutional reform in all of CPCS’s criminal and civil practice areas.  The Strategic Litigation Director will lead those efforts and will work with other attorneys, advocacy organizations, and clients to promote justice for and protect the rights of individuals who are parties in criminal and civil right-to-counsel proceedings.  The director’s responsibilities will include criminal and civil litigation and administrative advocacy.  Litigation will include both trial and appellate advocacy in state and federal court.  Depending upon the matter at issue, the director may serve as lead counsel, co-counsel, consultant, amicus curiae, or provide technical support.  The position will be posted until filled; preference will be given to candidates who apply prior to November 26, 2018.  To find further information and to apply, please visit here.

Bay Area Legal Aid is currently seeking a Youth Justice Staff Attorney who will provide civil legal services designed to meet the individualized needs of delinquency-involved youth, with a particular focus on SSI cases for children with disabilities.  This position is based out of Alameda County, CA.  But the position may include travel throughout the Bay Area.  The Youth Justice Attorney’s responsibilities include client interviews, negotiations with governmental agencies/opposing parties, research and writing, and representation at administrative and court proceedings.  The attorney is also expected to engage in outreach with probation, social services, law enforcement, youth service providers, and other community organizations.  Beyond SSI cases, the position may also include a smaller, mixed caseload in areas such as special education, health access, public benefits (e.g. foster care benefits, CalWORKs, and General Assistance), legal permanency, housing, and other work.  Clients served by this project experience high rates of sexual exploitation, abuse and neglect, and mental health-related issues which the attorney will be expected to navigated in providing legal assistance.  Review of applications will begin immediately and continue on a rolling basis, but applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.  For a full description of the job responsibilities and the application process, please check here.

too-awesome-meme-e1495332925779

Training

From March 25- 29, 2019, at the Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR) will be hosting the Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile Justice Certificate Program.  This is an intensive training  hosted in partnership with the Center for Children’s Law and Policy (CCLP) and designed to support local jurisdictions in their efforts to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in their juvenile justice systems.   The training will allow participants to develop and implement a Capstone Project designed to reduce the disparate treatment in their communities.  CJJR will only accept a limited number of applicants, so please visit the website to view the curriculum and learn how to apply to the training.  Applications will be accepted through December 14, 2018.  For more information, please visit the training website.

On Dec. 7, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., the UNC School of Government will be hosting the 2018 Winter Criminal Law Update.  This webinar 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 Shea Denning and Phil Dixon Jr. will discuss a wide range of issues affecting felony and misdemeanor cases in the North Carolina state courts.  Participants will receive 1.5 hours of general CLE credit and this qualifies for NC State Bar criminal law specialization credit.  All public defenders, private attorneys who handle or are interested in pursuing indigent criminal defense work, and other court personnel who handle criminal cases are invited.  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.   Please visit here to register online and find additional information about the webinar.  Pre-registration is required; the deadline is 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 5.  As it is a live broadcast, the webinar is NOT subject to the State Bar’s 6-hour per year credit limit for computer-based CLE.  For more info, please contact Program Manager Tanya Jisa or call 919.843.8981.

That’s the wrap-up for this week!  There are a few things planned from our office before the end of the year, so please check back again soon!

OJD Week in Review: Apr. 30 – May 4

Happy Friday to all!  This week is once again only reminders, but please note the dates for the upcoming CLEs below as few will be taking place/closing special offers before the end of next week.

Training

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

Registration is still open for the 2018 Southern Juvenile Defender Center Regional Summit.  Partial scholarship assistance will be offered to assist with lodging expenses until May 7 and the hotel room block will remain open until May 11.   The event will take place from June 8 – 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.

yoda training

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 now open for N.C. Bar Association’s annual meeting, this year titled “The Future of Law”.   This event will be hosted at the Wilmington Convention Center from June 21 – 24.  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.

From Around the Community

 

You’re invited to join the National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) as we celebrate the transformational power of stories; a power that honors the dignity and humanity of every child.  On Tuesday, May 15 (OJD Note: the 51st anniversary of the Gault decision), we’ll gather at the historic National Museum of Women in the Arts for The Story of Justice.  It is our great pleasure to announce that NJDC is recognizing both Carrie Johnson, justice correspondent at NPR, and DLA Piper LLP (US), with the inaugural Norman Dorsen Award, dedicated to the late professor and civil rights attorney who forever changed the landscape of children’s rights in the United States.  This award celebrates those like Mr. Dorsen who work outside of the children’s defense community and yet contribute so much to the fulfillment of equal protections for young people.  If you’re interested in supporting The Story of Justice as a sponsor, learn more 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.

81st Annual Conference

The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform and the Council of State Governments Justice Center will host the 2018 Janet Reno Forum on 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.

Job Opportunities

The Georgetown Juvenile Justice Clinic and Initiative (GJJI) is currently accepting applications for a Race and Justice Fellow, who will work with GJJI staff to improve the systems youth encounter through policy reform, and to develop resources to raise the level of practice among juvenile defenders across the county.  Applications will be accepted until May 14.  Please find the complete job description and application info 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.

This wraps up the week.  We will bring more updates in time and we wish you all a safe and happy Cinco de Mayo weekend.

Reflections & Foresight on N.C.’s Journey for Juvenile Justice at Raise the Age Victory Celebration

On Thursday afternoon, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., advocates for Raise the Age from across the state of North Carolina (and probably beyond) assembled at Trophy Brewing in Downtown Raleigh for a victory party hosted by the Raise the Age Coalition to celebrate the passing of the new law extending the age of juvenile jurisdiction.  RTA Vic Party crowd

Representatives from many organizations, from Disability Rights N.C. to the state Legislature, were in attendance to celebrate the monumental occasion.  After struggling for more than a decade to make this necessary change to the juvenile justice system, the festivities were well-deserved.  Everyone present seemed to be in good spirits after finally seeing their diligence pay off, but the people who have supported this effort for so long understand that there is still more to be done.

“I believe this is a step in the right direction,” said Tyler Ford, research assistant to Senator Paul Lowe.  “The state can now focus on guiding juveniles in the right direction, but we definitely have a long way to go.”

In the middle of the event, Susanna Birdsong, state policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, called on multiple speakers to share their thoughts and words of encouragement with the crowd.

Brandy Bynum Dawson, associate director for Rural Forward NC, was the first of the speakers, addressing all of the long years of advocacy to make this moment possible in her speech.  “This win is for North Carolina’s youth!” Dawson said.  “Congratulations on never giving up!”

Dawson was followed by Sens. Marcia Morey and Duane Hall, who each spoke briefly about their work in the judicial system before coming to the Legislature.

“This is why I left the bench to go to the Legislature,” Sen. Morey said.  “This is about the kids.  This is about the thousands of kids I would have sentenced as a judge.”

The final speaker for the event, Ricky Watson, co-director of the Youth Justice Project, stated that until the law is fully implemented, the goal would be to increase diversion programs and try to keep kids out of the justice system in the first place, continuing to advance justice for youth in North Carolina.

RTA Vic party

Following the presentations from the selected speakers a few others present were kind enough share their thoughts on the new legislation and what it means going forward.

“This is a smart juvenile justice reform that is going to help a lot of kids in North Carolina,” said LaToya Powell, assistant professor of public law and government at the UNC School of Government.

Deana Fleming, assistant legal counsel for the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts, stated, “I’m just happy to be able to put North Carolina youth on equal footing with the rest of the states.”

“This is only the beginning, there is still work to be done,” said David Andrews, assistant public defender for the N.C. Office of the Appellate Defender.

And while the work to improve the juvenile justice system continues, so do the celebrations for what has been achieved so far.  On Wednesday, August 2, the North Carolina Chamber will be holding its own reception in the Reynolds American Boardroom at 701 Corporate Center Drive, Suite 400 in Raleigh.  The reception will last from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.  Guests will need to RSVP with Kristy Kappel at kkappel@ncchamber.net.

 

Juvenile Defenders Reflect on Gault & Their Careers in the N.C. State Bar Journal

The North Carolina State Bar Journal has published an article from the Office of the Juvenile Defender in its Summer 2017 issue in honor of In re Gault.  The article, titled “Juvenile Defenders Reflect on Their Careers and 50 Years Since”, is a Q&A-style piece written by Juvenile Defender Eric Zogry and features Barbara Fedders, assistant professor at UNC School of Law and director of the Youth Justice Clinic, Mary Stansell, juvenile chief of the Wake County Public Defender Office, Sabrina Leshore, attorney of Leshore Law Firm, PLLC, and executive director of CROSSED, Scott Dennis, associate at Bringewatt Snover, Starr Ward, juvenile defender in Guilford County, Mitch Feld, director of Children’s Defense at the Council for Children’s Rights in Charlotte, and Yolanda Fair, assistant public defender in Buncombe County.

2017BarJournal_120101Juvenile defenders were asked a variety of questions, ranging from who influenced their practice and why they became involved in delinquency law to what advice they would pass on to the next generation of defenders and what keeps them going on the toughest days of their career.

When asked what she finds most and least rewarding about practicing in juvenile court, Fedders said, “I like forming relationships with kids.  The lawyer-client relationship is unique and special.  What I like least is how little impact court involvement has on a kid, how meaningless the court proceedings typically are to kids.”

On the subject of Gault and it’s influence on their practice, the interviewees also provided very passionate, thoughtful responses.  Mitch Feld stated “The Gault decision has increased my passion to tell others that children have the same rights as adults do.  People tend to be very quick to say ‘well it’s just a child’ or ‘they’re a child so they won’t know what to decide.’  Minimizing children and treating them like second-class citizens causes me to fight even harder for them to be treated like anyone else.”

The article was released digitally about a week ago and the PDF version can be found here. Now the printed version is also available and we want to encourage everyone to get a copy to read the words of wisdom from these inspirational people.