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In Focus: Improving Youth Defense

NCJ Number
255341
Date Published
July 2022
Length
1 page
Annotation

This Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) In Focus fact sheet describes programs, training, and technical assistance for juvenile public defenders. Research shows that barriers to juveniles' receipt of proper counsel include juvenile defenders' excessive caseloads, inadequate compensation for public defenders, and a lack of juvenile-specific training for lawyers.

Abstract

Research shows that barriers to juveniles' receipt of proper counsel include juvenile defenders' excessive caseloads, inadequate compensation for public defenders, and a lack of juvenile-specific training for lawyers. Juvenile defenders play a critical role in ensuring fairness and equity for youth and families, and in preserving public confidence in the juvenile justice system. By funding efforts that will help to improve outcomes for indigent juvenile offenders, OJJDP is helping to reduce the risk of reoffending, enhance public safety, and increase the likelihood that these youth will become productive, law-abiding members of society.