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NCJ Number: 204125 Find in a Library
Title: Best Defense is Not Enough: The Responsibility of Defense Attorneys to Improve Justice System Handling of Juveniles
Journal: Juvenile Justice Update  Volume:9  Issue:1  Dated:February/March 2003  Pages:3-4,16
Author(s): H. Ted Rubin
Date Published: February 2003
Page Count: 3
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article briefly examines the responsibilities of defense counsel in representing juvenile court clients in an attempt to improve the juvenile justice system’s handling of juveniles.
Abstract: Defense counsel need to be and should be important actors in improving the juvenile justice systems never-ending objective. In going beyond good defense work with a particular case, defense counsel needs to take the offensive and advocate unilaterally or join in partnerships to facilitate reforms in the juvenile justice system. Their focus must go beyond their responsibility of providing the best representation and focus on making the system work better for all juvenile court clients. This article discusses areas where defense attorneys can work to improve how the juvenile justice system affects children and these include: (1) distinguishing who should come to juvenile court, specifically truant cases and non-serious school offenses; (2) the involvement of defense counsel at the intake and diversion stage of juvenile court proceedings; (3) representation by defense counsel at the initial detention hearings and advocacy to foster change in detention admission practices; (4) dispositional advocacy and the review of dispositional reports in advance of hearings; and (5) providing advocacy after disposition, specifically in the probation process and in monitoring a juvenile committed to a residential facility. Defense attorneys should be a prominent part of this improvement effort, working with judges, prosecutors, probation officers, detention officials, child advocates, and even law enforcement officials.
Main Term(s): Defense counsel
Index Term(s): Attorneys; Court appointed counsel; Defense counsel effectiveness; Defense services; Juvenile court procedures; Juvenile court reform; Juvenile courts; Juvenile justice reform
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