top of page

From A Lawyer's View: A Trip Down Juvenile History, by Burcu Hensley

The holidays are always a great time to listen to stories of the past and reflect on personal and family history. It’s a great way to learn about oneself through the stories of where we came from and why we are the way we are. The same principle holds true at the Office of the Juvenile Defender – stories from the past and our history, as a nation, as a state, and as juvenile defenders – help to remind us of our purpose and mission. While the majority of the current staff at OJD are relatively new within the ranks, our fearless leader, Eric Zogry, is the seasoned elder of the group, with stories to share. While we keep an eye on current events and recent happenings, Eric has a wealth of history he shares with us, including a stockpile of older articles and news clippings related to juvenile justice. Literally.

After a conversation about whether we wanted to start archiving interesting news articles we find on the internet for future reference, Eric walked into my office with an expanding folder full of physical newspaper clippings and articles. The folder was filled to capacity and definitely made a thudding sound as he set it on my desk. “Looks like you’ve found yourself a new project,” he remarked. So far, in looking through the folder, I have found articles dating back as far as 1990. There is a lot of history in this folder.

So now I embark upon my journey to scan, organize, file, and archive these clippings and nuggets of history so that we may all benefit from a better understanding of our past as we move forward. Let me know if you have any thoughts on a useful way to organize the archive as we build it. Here are a few of the articles that stuck out to me in the small batch I’ve been working on today.

“Getting back on track, Johnston County school moves from discipline focus to academic restoration,” News & Observer, Feb. 1, 2005

“Special school to open weeks late in Durham,” News & Observer, September, 5, 2000

“Raised behind bars, pair struggle outside,” News & Observer, March 29, 2009

“A familiar face, a heartbreaking return,” News & Observer, 2001



bottom of page