Home News Center Webinar: When Youth are Not Competent to Stand Trial

Webinar: When Youth are Not Competent to Stand Trial

August 19, 2013
Zoe Schein

Recorded September 3, 2013

Does your state rely on statutes designed for adults to determine (a) whether youth are competent to stand trial, and (b) how to proceed when they're not? 
You can fix that. In this webinarwe give you tips on how to draft and advocate for competency laws for youth in delinquency proceedings. We discussed:
  • why we need a separate competency statute for youth
  • what the statutory language should look like
  • which stakeholders you need at the table 
  • roadblocks -- e.g., how to handle remediation
  • guidelines for competency assessments
  • paying for assessments
  • the role of families
The presentation drew on a guide to developing competency statutes from Models for Change and summarized in this NJJN policy update, "Competency to Stand Trial in Juvenile Court: Recommendations for Policymakers.”

About Our Presenters

juvenile-justice-reform_Dr.-Kimberly-LarsonDR. KIMBERLY LARSON is an Assistant. Professor in the Psychiatry Dept. at the UMass Med, where she is part of the Law and Psychiatry Program and the Center for Mental Health Services Research.  Her interests focus on juveniles’ psychological developmental capacities in legal contexts and the application of psychological literature to create policy.  She co-authored the Models for Change guide on developing juvenile competence-to-stand-trial legislation, and she also provides related technical assistance to states.  
juvenile-justice-reform_Michelle-WeemhoffMICHELLE WEEMHOFF, MSW, is the Associate Director at the Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency, responsible for planning and implementing MCCD’s justice programs. Michelle has advanced a number of successful juvenile justice initiatives, resulting in the passage of comprehensive juvenile competency legislation, implementation of the Michigan Youth Reentry Initiative in all state-operated juvenile facilities, and increased funding for community-based alternatives to detention and incarceration.
» Listen to the presentation here.  
» Download NJJN's policy update, "Competency to Stand Trial in Juvenile Court: Recommendations for Policymakers."

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