Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $147,983)
The OJJDP FY 2015 Smart on Juvenile Justice: Enhancing Youth Access to Justice Initiative will provide funding to (1) develop effective, statewide, well-resourced model juvenile indigent defense legal delivery systems; (2) develop and implement standards of practice and policy for the effective management of such delivery systems; and (3) develop state or regional resource centers to help state, tribal, and local juvenile defense systems enhance the quality of legal representation, leverage resources, and collect and analyze data to measure the effectiveness of specific initiatives. This initiative will provide cost-effective and innovative training for the juvenile indigent defense bar, including public defenders and court-appointed counsel working on behalf of juvenile indigent defendants, particularly in traditionally underserved locations, including rural areas. Category 1: Youth Access to Justice State Reform Planning Grants will support state and tribal efforts to develop strategies and policies that will ensure that every juvenile receives the guarantees of due process and equal protection and that their constitutional rights are honored.
The Smart on Juvenile Justice Access Committee, (SJJAC), led by a Juvenile Justice Planning Fellow, is a collaborative team of key stakeholders in Delaware that will develop a strategic plan to address system reform with youth access to a wide array of indigent services statewide. SJJAC will identify evidence-based mechanisms and policies that can be employed to decrease juvenile waiver of counsel in court proceedings; identify the funding needs of agencies and whether there are changes in current structure and processes that would support increased representation at these hearings; develop a policy to address representation in expungement proceedings for all juveniles; compile data and craft strategies to reduce statewide issues of over-representation of minorities in confinement; research and evaluate evidence-based practices; and, develop a model juvenile defense training curriculum.