NJDC Executive Director’s Letter on Public Defense Day
A message from NJDC’s Executive Director, Kim Dvorchak, on Public Defense Day.
NJDC in the News
- States Push Tougher Standards for Juvenile Public Defenders, Stateline–Pew Charitable Trusts (5/5/16)
- Juveniles in Maryland’s justice system are routinely strip-searched and shackled, The Baltimore Sun (3/13/16)
- Dassey’s Confession Stirs National Debate, USA Today Network-Wisconsin (2/17/16).
- Kim Dvorchak & Jody Kent Lavy, Defending the Childhood of Brendan Dassey, Huffpost Crime (2/11/16).
- Violating Juveniles’ Rights, Just Because They Can, St. Louis Today (2/4/16).
- Defense Attorneys Critical of St. Charles County’s Juvenile Court, St. Louis Today (2/2/16).
- A Push to End Shackling of Children in Delaware Courts, The News Journal (1/23/2016).
- Grant to Examine Delaware Juvenile Defense System, The News Journal (1/21/2016).
DOJ Finds St. Louis Family Court Violates Children’s Rights
Citing the NJDC’s earlier Assessment of Missouri’s indigent defense system, the Department of Justice has issued a report on how the St. Louis Family Court violates the Due Process and Equal Protection Rights of Children.
The Juvenile Committee of the National Association for Public Defense (NAPD) and NJDC developed a Juvenile Defense Self-Assessment Tool that is intended to create an opportunity to reflect on practices in public defender offices pertaining to the defense of juveniles in delinquency proceedings.
Smart on Juvenile Justice: Enhancing Youth Access to Justice Initiative
NJDC received the Category 2, Youth Access to Justice Training and Technical Assistance grant to provide training technical assistance to four states, to coordinate efforts to create effective systems of juvenile defense, and to provide legal assistance to youth returning from out-of-home placement to eliminate barriers that impede their likelihood of success. Read all about it here.
DOJ: Kids Must Have Meaningful Access to Lawyers
The Department of Justice takes a strong stance that state courts must provide youth with meaningful access to counsel. In a Statement of Interest filed in a Georgia state court, the DOJ says that courts need to ensure kids have access to attorneys “with the training, resources, and time to effectively advocate the child’s interests.”
MACEI 2012 Winner
NJDC was a 2012 winner of the MacArthur Creative and Effective Institutions (MACEI) award. Watch our video.
National Judicial Organization Issue Anti-Shackling Resolution
The National Counsel of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) issues a resolution calling for limits on the use of shackles in juvenile courts as part of a trauma-informed and developmentally appropriate approach to juvenile justice.
National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC)
NJDC is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to promoting justice for all children by ensuring excellence in juvenile defense. NJDC provides support to public defenders, appointed counsel, law school clinical programs, and non-profit law centers to ensure quality representation in urban, suburban, rural, and tribal areas. NJDC also offers a wide range of integrated services to juvenile defenders, including training, technical assistance, policy advocacy, capacity building, networking, collaboration, and coordination.
There are defender champions around the country making incredible marks in the field of juvenile defense. This month’s trailblazer also happens to be one of the newest members of NJDC’s Board of Directors.
A New Kind of Training
Developing a specialization in juvenile defense through new and innovative training programs that can be tailored for any jurisdiction.
Read All About It
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