Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2020, $445,247)
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.
Through the Juvenile Rural Access to Training and Expertise (J-RATE) program, the Wisconsin State Public Defender (SPD) aims to enhance juvenile indigent defense in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin SPD will increase both the quality of practice and the quantity of conflict counsel appointed to handle juvenile delinquency cases, particularly in rural areas. J-RATE will be implemented in phases to ensure maximum return on grant funding and to build long-term capacity so that quality training and representation are sustainable. The primary activities are to certify the Wisconsin SPD attorneys who practice statewide as trainers in the Juvenile Training Immersion Program, use the newly certified trainers to train and recruit private bar attorneys to provide juvenile representation in both trial and appellate cases, and create collateral consequences of a juvenile adjudication website and handbook. The project will increase the number of private attorneys providing representation and improve the quality of that representation. J-RATE will target Wisconsins rural counties. CA/NCF