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Providing Effective Representation for Youth Prosecuted as Adults

NCJ Number
Malcolm C. Young
Date Published
August 2000
7 pages
Publication Series
This bulletin describes successes in public defenders’ attempts to provide high-quality representation to youth prosecuted in adult criminal courts.
Children’s representation in criminal court requires the support of lawyers, social workers, and other professionals whose services are not frequently required for adult defendants. The paper uses experiences of defenders across the country to identify key elements of defender programs that effectively meet the needs of transferred children. The task of defining the elements of such programs was undertaken by a committee of experienced advocates and defenders, the Model Program Advisory Team. The Team endorsed four elements that are adaptable to any programmatic structure: (1) defining the scope of offender representation of youth transferred into adult criminal court; (2) forming and maintaining a stable team of juvenile defenders; (3) ensuring child-focused advocacy; and (4) supplying information to the public and policymakers. Every successful program reviewed by the Team used some form of vertical representation, i.e., assigning one attorney or attorney team to a defendant from the outset through the conclusion of the case. Notes

Date Published: August 1, 2000