“The Road to Hell is paved with good intentions.” – Unknown
As I walked into my first (and only!) law class in grad school, there was a quote written on the whiteboard. Our professor looked at us and asked, “How does this apply to our case today?” The case in question was “In re Gault,” the landmark US Supreme Court case which established the right to counsel for juveniles in delinquency cases in 1967. That may have been my only law class, but I continue to grapple with the issues raised by this case through my work training and providing technical assistance to juvenile drug treatment courts. In the 51 years since Gault, we’ve come a long way to ensure justice for youth, but there are still steps we need to take, especially when it comes to the right to counsel.
Continue reading “In Re Gault – Progress or Regression”
The first veteran graduates from a Florida treatment court, New York addresses the right to counsel in family court, and Missouri’s Senate blocks funding to restore state programs. All of these stories and more in this week’s news roundup.
Continue reading “Friday News Roundup: September 14, 2018”
This month is full of new beginnings for JPO and for me. JPO is packing up and cleaning out, preparing for an office reconfiguration. We’ve grown and changed over the last two years and so have our needs. We’re losing our library and conference room to create more office space to house our growing team of experts and leaders—but isn’t everything online now, anyway, and, really, who meets in person anymore? Continue reading “New Beginnings – Fun and Stressful at the Same Time”
I’ve been working for a little over a year as a student associate at the Justice Programs Office (JPO). Most of my time is taken up by being graduate student at American University’s School of International Service but being a student associate at JPO has been a very rewarding part-time job. As an international affairs student, the daily legal issues I study are very different from those most students who focus on domestic government study. During our studies, we international affairs students observe whether a country adheres to the rule of law or we compare the philosophical underpinnings that countries use in designing legal or governmental systems. Rarely do we take a deep look at the American legal system or the American criminal justice system. My time here at JPO has built on my personal thoughts about the American criminal justice system and brought them into sharper focus.
Continue reading “Working in Criminal Justice as an International Affairs Student: Understanding the Challenges at Home”
West Virginia’s House of Delegates votes to impeach all four Supreme Court justices, indigent families must pay for their child’s attorney in most states, Orleans Parish Juvenile Court becomes the first jurisdiction in the South to end the assessment and collection of discretionary juvenile fees, and L.A. County hasn’t had a public defender in two years and just appointed one. These stories and much more below in the latest Friday News Roundup.
Continue reading “Friday News Roundup: August 17, 2018”
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio signs bill into law making jail phone calls free, Kendall County graduates first class of drug court participants, and a Louisiana judge rules Orleans Parish bail structure is unconstitutional. All these stories and much more below in the latest Friday News Roundup.
Continue reading “Friday News Roundup: August 10, 2018”
A new Canadian study shows chances of dying tripled for those not taking methadone to treat opioid addiction, Florida’s juvenile justice chief steps down, and the Los Angeles County Public Defenders office unionizes. These stories and much more in the latest edition of the Friday News Roundup.
Continue reading “Friday News Roundup: August 3, 2018”
My role at the Justice Programs Office (JPO) is to be heard but rarely seen. I am not asked to go to conferences and present on the constitutional right to counsel. I am certainly not going out into the field to provide training and technical assistance to adult and juvenile treatment courts. But you have probably seen my Friday News Roundup or read my social media posts. I liken my role at JPO to a spotlight. I use my writing abilities and communications knowledge to shine a light on the fantastic work that JPO does and on the talented people that work here.
Continue reading “Heard but Rarely Seen”
Do you remember where you learned about the guarantees of our Constitution? Was it in sixth grade civics class like it was for me? My daughter Claire, who is 11, is going into sixth grade this fall, and I’m curious about whether or not she’s going to be taught about the Constitution and, specifically, about the Sixth Amendment’s right to counsel. Continue reading “Let’s Talk about the Constitution”
A New York judge rules counties may sue opioid distributors, The Massachusetts Supreme Court agrees that judges can jail those who violate probation by using drugs, and Spokane’s public defenders are trying out a new and cheap way to remind their clients of trial dates. All of these stories and more in the latest edition of the Friday News Roundup.
Continue reading “Friday News Roundup: July 20, 2018”