Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $319,161)
The Enhancements for Juvenile Defense program supports states and localities in developing and implementing tools and strategies to ensure that youth involved with the juvenile justice system have fair and equal access to high-quality legal representation and to resources that address the collateral consequences of justice system involvement. Category 1 under this program provides funding to states and localities to enhance juvenile defense in one or more of the following areas: staff training, data collection and analysis, juvenile defense delivery system analyses, and/or addressing a specific need(s) identified by the state or locality related to juvenile defense services delivery.
During the 2019 session, the Utah legislature passed SB32, requiring automatic appointment of counsel for all minors in delinquency court proceedings and the presence of appointed counsel at all stages of the proceedings, including detention hearings and post-dispositional review hearings. This project will help ensure implementation of SB32 by increasing the availability of specialized legal counsel capable of identifying and supporting youths' needs and strengths. Currently, there are not enough attorneys in Utah who possess specialized expertise in delinquency representation or have access to training that would support the development of that expertise. The goals of this project are to provide: access to juvenile-specific training for all attorneys appointed to represent youth in delinquency proceedings in Utah; support for standardized defense practice across the state in terms of scope of representation - specifically, minors should have access to legal representation during all stages of the delinquency proceedings, including post adjudication; and, support for the development of a statewide community of juvenile defense advocates who identify as experts in a specialized and valued area of defense practice. The outcomes and deliverables anticipated from this project include 11 quarterly, tuition-free, geographically accessible (i.e., distance technology enabled), specialized trainings for all attorneys appointed to represent youth in delinquency proceedings in Utah; the development and dissemination of 4 practice tools to supplement and amplify the training program; and, utilization of the practice tools and engagement in the training by the majority of attorneys who accept delinquency case appointments. CA/NCF