Happy Friday Readers! You can tell it's Spring because the whole office is dealing with pollen and the sniffles. But, that doesn't stop OJD from sharing important information and rounding out the week with you.
Tip of the Week: An Update on RTA Juvenile Justice Data
Every quarter or so, the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice (soon to be the Division of Juvenile Justice) releases statistics at the Juvenile Jurisdiction Advisory Committee (JJAC) describing the ongoing implementation of the Raise the Age (RTA) legislation. Below are some key takeaways that may be of interest to defenders:
· In 2021, 64% of complaints in intake were approved for court. This is up from about 50% historically.
· Since the effective date of Senate Bill 207 which created the “vulnerable juvenile” status, 24 distinct juveniles have been processed as a “vulnerable juvenile”.[HAB1]
· Since RTA passed, there has been a decline in violent (17%) and serious (20%) offenses for youth under 16.
· Since 2018, violent offenses per juvenile have been relatively stable, with an average of about 2.3 or 2.4 violent offenses per youth charged.
· 55% of RTA youth were approved for court, 22% were diverted, and 23% had their cases closed. In comparison, 44% of Non-RTA youth were approved for court, 36% were diverted, and 23% percent had their cases closed.
· 44% of total complaints received are for RTA youth, and 48% of YDC commitments in 2021 were for RTA youth.
· Detention population, average length of stay, and number of transferred juveniles in detention have increased significantly since RTA.
· Racial disparities persist in the juvenile justice system:
o Complaints received: 55% Black to 31% White
o Detention admissions: 66% Black to 19% White
o Of the 24 distinct vulnerable juveniles, 13 were Black
Click here to find out more about the JJAC and its work.
[HAB1]Are the “distinct juveniles” referring to vulnerable
A Trip to Durham
Tuesday, Eric went to Durham to discuss the MAC process and got to see these two great women in law: Mary Pollard, Executive Director of IDS, and District Court Judge Dorothy Hairston-Mitchell.
SJDC Summit in Montgomery, AL
Registration is now open for the 2022 Gault Center South (formerly Southern Juvenile Defender Center) Regional Summit. We invite you to come together with your colleagues from across the Southern states to participate in this one-of-a-kind program. Register for this year’s summit by clicking here. This year's summit will be centered around racial justice topics prevalent in the juvenile justice system. We are excited to host keynote speaker Bryan Stevenson, founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, as well as special guest Kristin Henning, Blume Professor of Law and Director of the Juvenile Justice Clinic and Initiative at Georgetown Law. Other sessions will cover topics such as Defending Gang Activity Cases, Disciplinary Hearings, Grief and Trauma, and Difficult Conversations. Gault Center South has also arranged for group admission to the EJI Legacy Museum & National Memorial for Peace and Justice on Thursday before the plenary sessions. Further details, including information about hotel accommodations and scholarships, are on the registration page. Registration for the summit closes on May 20th. Any questions or issues with registration can be directed to Burcu Hensley at Burcu.Hensley@nccourts.org. We look forward to seeing you in Alabama!