Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $602,262)
The Kansas Department of Corrections (DOC) is the designated state agency responsible for preparation and administration of the 3-year plan. DOC will work with The Gault Center formally known as the National Juvenile Defender Center to implement the Improvement of Youth Defense in Kansas. The purpose is to improve the quality of youth defense representation and create a supportive structure for youth defenders in protecting juvenile rights. Project activities include three projected goals. The first goal targets developing Kansas-specific youth defense standards, the second goal targets providing youth defense-specific training to improve quality of youth defense, and the third goal targets creating youth defense-specific tools and resources and improve data collection. Expected outcomes for the Kansas-specific defense standards include, working with legal professionals or entities that work with youth to ensure youth voices are contributed to the development of legal and policy research, data collection and analysis, and drafting and editing of created standards. Expected outcomes for youth defense-specific training include, provide a series of training opportunities for youth defenders in Kansas to improve the quality in their legal representation skills. Expected outcomes for youth defense-specific tools, resources, and data collection include, sample motions, building a resource hub, and the development of data-collection protocols. Kansas juvenile youth are the intended beneficiaries of the project. Subrecipient activities include strengthening the protection of juvenile rights by collaborating with organizations that work with youth, providing summer academies, creating ambassador training programs, building a resource hub, and creating a manual.