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NCJ Number: 204536 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Pennsylvania: An Assessment of Access to Counsel and Quality of Representation in Delinquency Proceedings
Author(s): Laval S. Miller-Wilson; Patricia Puritz
Corporate Author: Juvenile Law Ctr
United States of America

American Bar Assoc
Juvenile Justice Ctr
United States of America
Date Published: October 2003
Page Count: 116
Sponsoring Agency: American Bar Assoc
Washington, DC 20005
Juvenile Law Ctr
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Washington, DC 20531
Pennsylvania Cmssn on Crime and Delinquency
Harrisburg, PA 17108-1167
Grant Number: 1999-JN-FX-0003
Sale Source: American Bar Assoc
Juvenile Justice Ctr
740 15th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study assessed access to legal counsel and the quality of legal representation for juveniles in Pennsylvania's juvenile justice system.
Abstract: In 2002, the Juvenile Law Center and the American Bar Association Juvenile Justice Center jointly conducted the first Pennsylvania-specific survey of attorneys who represented juveniles in order to gain an understanding of how the juvenile courts were complying with the State's law that guarantees legal counsel for juveniles processed in the juvenile justice system. In addition to the survey, experienced juvenile justice professionals observed juvenile court proceedings across the State. The study found that Pennsylvania does not have a uniform system for providing defense services to indigent juveniles. Pennsylvania does not provide State funding for nor oversight of indigent defender services for juveniles. Lacking the resources, the time, and the training, the majority of defense attorneys who represent indigent juveniles do not confer with their clients in an effective manner, engage in research relevant to the case, review files, conduct pretrial investigations, secure expert assistance, or prepare adequately for critical stages of case processing. The lack of standards for juvenile defense services and excessive caseloads undermine the quality of the defense services delivered. Recommendations for improving the defense system for juveniles are targeted toward the executive branch, the State Supreme Court, and the county juvenile courts. Generally, the report advises that the Commonwealth, including its judicial districts and counties, should increase resources for juvenile defense services and improve the quality of legal representation for juveniles at the stages of detention, trial, disposition, and postdisposition. Moreover, juvenile defense attorneys should become more proactive in addressing systemic juvenile justice issues across the Commonwealth. Appended data and IJA/ABA juvenile justice standards relating to counsel for private parties and 134 notes
Main Term(s): Juvenile processing
Index Term(s): Defense; Defense counsel; Defense counsel effectiveness; Defense preparation; Defense services; Indigent Defense; Indigents; Juvenile offenders; OJJDP grant-related documents; Pennsylvania; Right to counsel; State juvenile justice systems; State juvenile laws
Note: Downloaded March 10, 2004.
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