The Champion

July and August 2011 , Page 18 

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Juvenile Justice

By Maureen Pacheco

It has been written that juvenile justice “suffers the most glaring gaps between best practice and common practice, between what we know works and what our public systems most often do.”1 There is a great need for NACDL and juvenile defenders to work together to improve and coordinate training for both advocates in juvenile court and advocates who represent youth in adult court. NACDL is taking a more active role in juvenile justice defense and policy. This special issue of The Champion highlights some of the issues that are important to the dedicated defenders who represent juveniles.

During the next 18 months, the work of NACDL’s Juvenile Justice Committee will focus on the landmark decision in Graham v. Florida,2 in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that adolescents who commit non-homicide offenses cannot receive life without the possibility of parole (LWOP), and must be given a meaningful opportunity for release. Through the Foundation for Criminal Justice, NACDL received grant fund

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