Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Thursday, August 28, 2008


Page 3


Public Defenderís Office Joins National Program to Improve Legal System for Indigent Juveniles


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The Los Angeles County Public Defenderís Office has been chosen to participate in a national program to improve the legal system for indigent youth, the agency announced yesterday in a release.

Other participants include the Youth Law Center; the San Francisco Public Defender; the Center for Children, Families and the Courts of the Administrative Office of the Courts; the Loyola Law School Center for Juvenile Law and Policy, and Human Rights Watch.

The six agencies will represent the state, and join representatives from Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Illinois, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Washington as members of the new Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network, which will have its inaugural meeting Oct. 2-3 in Washington, D.C.

The new organizationís stated goal is to engage juvenile defenders, policymakers, judges and other decision makers in designing proactive juvenile justice strategies, implementing reforms, creating opportunities for leadership, and devising concrete, measurable strategies to improve juvenile indigent defense systems at the local, state and national levels, the release stated. It is being funded by a $100 million grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation,

In its notification letter, the MacArthur Foundation said the California group had been selected because it demonstrated the commitment to improve the juvenile indigent defense policy and practice, the ability to bring together critical decision makers and stakeholders on its team, and the readiness to work with other network members to help implement change within the state and provide leadership to other states in the nation.


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