Why Juvenile Defense Doesn't End in the Courtroom
Juvenile defenders can and should play a vital role in policy and justice system reform -- and advocates can partner with them to accomplish significant changes that affect youth in the court room and beyond.
This policy update draws on new best practice standards created by the National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) with support from Models for Change for juvenile defense attorneys. In addition to the standards themselves, the NJDC also calls on defenders to take action toward broad systemic reform, and encourages advocates to collaborate in these areas:
1. Ensure early access to counsel.
2. Establish a presumption of indigence for all youth.
3. Prevent invalid waiver of counsel.
4. Challenge disparate treatment and discrimination.
5. Ensure resources and manageable caseloads for juvenile defenders.
6. Identify and eliminate harmful conditions of confinement.
Photo: iampeas, under Creative Commons license.