Delaware: An Assessment of Access to Counsel and Quality of Representation in Juvenile Delinquency Proceedings
Released on July 12, 2017, the Delaware Assessment is based on interviews, observation, and research conducted by a team of expert investigators who analyzed Delaware Family Courts over a span of months. While promising practices have been implemented statewide, there is still a troubling absence of advocacy for youth both in and outside of the courtroom. Children are often needlessly pulled deeper into the justice system with little regard for the collateral effects of court involvement.
The report urges Delaware to address the pervasive racial disparities in the system; end practices that disrupt due process for children, such as holding court hearings via videoconference; and establish juvenile defense leadership and practice units to build a dedicated cadre of lawyers who specialize in the representation of youth.