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OJD Week in Review: Aug. 13 – 17

Welcome back, everyone!  There is light news this week, but there are a few tidbits of information that might be of interest to you below.

Another OJD Spotlight On…

Before we get to the usual news, we would like to bring attention to a young man from Garner who wrote to our office recently with a personal request regarding school safety.  Lance Murphy, 16, of Garner Magnet High School, wrote Juvenile Defender Eric Zogry citing his concerns with the recent tragedies that have taken place within schools, including the one in Parkland, Fla.  In his writing, Murphy cites data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics and inquires about programs to aid at-risk youth, before concluding with the statement below:

“As North Carolina’s Juvenile Defender, I ask that you support programs that help rehabilitate juvenile offenders.  I also ask that you support programs that may help prevent at-risk youth from committing crimes to begin with.  Examples of this could include after-school care, community support groups, community sport leagues, community service, and job skills support.  All children should have an opportunity to become outstanding adults, even those who have made bad choices in the past.  I thank you for your service and time.  I anxiously await your reply.”


While Zogry has sent his own reply to Murphy, perhaps we should also consider his heartfelt request as a call to action for all juvenile justice advocates and service providers.  It’s great that kids such as Murphy are considering preventative measures to keep more youth out of the justice system and addressing the fact that all kids, regardless of their actions, deserve the chance to prove themselves to be better adults.  We commend Murphy for speaking out on behalf of his peers and we also want to thank all those people who have actively worked to improve our communities and protect the future of our youth!

From Around the Community

On Wednesday, Aug. 22, from 12 to 2 p.m., the Office of the Juvenile Defender will be hosting a Raise the Age Regional Informational Meeting in the Law Library of the Watauga County Courthouse (842 W. King Street) in Boone.  Juvenile defenders in District 24 and its surrounding districts are encouraged to attend.  During this meeting we will be discussing the Raise the Age law, OJD’s plans in response to the law, and what issues should be addressed going forward.  We encourage attendees to bring their lunch, as well as questions, comments and concerns.  We have a few other similar information meetings planned in other parts of the state, but if attorneys are interested in receiving more information, please feel free to reach out to our office and we will be happy to schedule a meeting/training with you!

On Thursday, Aug. 23, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., the OJJDP-funded Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program will host the “Internet Crimes Against Children/KeepSafe Incident Response Tool for Schools” webinar.  The webinar will discuss a free resource designed to help schools respond to technology-related incidents, including cyberbullying, sexting, hacking, and threats of violence.  The webinar will also identify how school officials can use this tool to work with law enforcement and other stakeholders to investigate and develop responses to all types of technology-related incidents.  If you are interested, please register here.


Registration is now open for the 2018 Misdemeanor Defender Training, which will take place at the UNC-Chapel Hill campus from Sept. 18 – 21.  This training, cosponsored by the Office of Indigent Defense Services and the School of Government, will be an introductory program for attorneys who are new to handling misdemeanor cases and will offer 21.5 CLE credit hours, including one hour of ethics/professional responsibility credit and qualifies for criminal law specialization credit.  Attendees can expect sessions that will cover topics such as impaired driving, probation violations, ethical issues in district court, and much more.  The registration deadline will be 5 p.m. on Aug. 30 and the deadline for the hotel block will be Aug. 28.  There will be no onsite registration.  The fee for privately assigned counsel will be $560, but the program will be free for IDS state employees.  There is a new online registration system being used that will require first-time users to create an account, but if any issues should arise, please contact or check the FAQ page.  For further questions contact either Tanya Jisa or Phil Dixon,Jr.

Save the Date!  The Bridging The Gap III Seminar will be in Winston-Salem September 20-21, 2018.  Participants in this seminar will be awarded 10.25 CLE credit hours, including 1.5 credit hours in ethics, professional responsibility and professionalism.  The registration fee is $115.00.  The focus of this seminar will be on client and family relations, and pretrial resolution.  Registration and hotel information will be published in early July.  A block of 40 rooms will be available once the registration is published.  For an attorney to attend he or she must have at least 7 years’ experience.  The “ gap” in Bridging The Gap describes lawyers who have never taken murder cases and are considering taking them on, and lawyers who have taken non-capital murder cases and are considering taking capital cases.  The seminar, hosted by the Office of the Capital Defender, focuses on issues relevant to both non-capital and capital murder cases.  If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Terry Alford.

That sums it up for this week!  The near-future for news in the juvenile defense community is looking good, so check back soon!

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