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District of Columbia


DC Lawyers for Youth

1220 L Street NW Suite 605
Washington, DC 20005

Phone: 202-643-6870
Web: www.dcly.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/DCLawyers4Youth
Twitter: @DCLawyers4Youth

Eduardo Ferrer
Executive Director
Email: eferrer@dcly.orgferrere@georgetown.edu

Organization Profile

DC Lawyers for Youth (DCLY) is an organization founded by alumni of the Georgetown Juvenile Justice Clinic in 2007. The purpose of DCLY is to improve the Washington, D.C. juvenile justice system through advocacy, direct service, and the dissemination of information. By bridging the worlds of ideas and action, DCLY empowers and engages the District’s legal community and youth to effect positive change. We believe that improving juvenile justice in the District requires the input and participation of our entire community including youth, parents, teachers, judges, police, and various other constituencies. DCLY seeks to bring these stakeholders together in order to develop the most effective policies and projects to promote our youth’s success.

Our Philosophy
We believe that true positive change cannot occur if we limit our view of the juvenile justice system to the time when a child gets arrested to the time he gets released from the custody of the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) or completes his or her probation. As a result, we take a holistic approach to improving the juvenile justice system organizing our efforts by the three phases of the system: prevention, representation, and rehabilitation.

1. Prevention
Investing early in our youth will make it less likely that they will get arrested. This is the best outcome for our youth and all the system’s stakeholders. Lowering arrest rates will reduce the volume that the courts and social services have to process, freeing up resources and enabling our courts and social service programs to focus on those youth most in need.

2. Representation
Improving the quality of representation for youth begins with a recognition that the juvenile defender is both attorney and social worker and ensuring that all juvenile defenders receive the support necessary to effectively play both roles. Focusing on this dual role of effective juvenile defenders will not only protect the constitutional rights of our youth recognized in In re Gault, but also ensure that those youth most in need will receive a plan for services that is tailored to the unique needs of the individual.

3. Rehabilitation
Improving the services provided to our youth who are subject to court or DYRS supervision will ensure that the rehabilitative goal of the juvenile justice system is realized. Investing in effective re-entry programs will help rehabilitated youth from falling back into the grasp of the court system.


LaShunda-hill_juvenile-justice-reformLaShunda Hill

Senior Associate
Public Safety Performance Project
The Pew Charitable Trusts

Phone: 202-540-6932


Areas of Expertise: sentencing reform; juvenile life without parole; reinvestment.

Bio: LaShunda Hill seeks to create juvenile and child welfare systems that are restorative and healing instead of retributive and traumatizing.

Currently at the Pew Charitable Trusts, she works with states seeking to improve their juvenile justice systems. Previously at the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth (CFSY), she worked to abolish juvenile life without parole. Before CFSY, she was a family intervention specialist with Youth Villages, providing in-home counseling for youth and their families.

LaShunda is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, holds an EdM from Harvard University and is completing a MSW from Columbia University.

Locale: District of Columbia
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