News

JJDPA Reauthorized After 16 Years, Preserving Core Protections for Youth

On December 21, 2018, President Trump signed a reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 (the “JJDPA”).  The JJDPA supports state and local juvenile justice planning and operations through grants, technical assistance, research, and program evaluation.  As a condition of receiving federal funding, states agree to implement core requirements of the …

Governor Brown Enacts Major Youth Justice Legislation

Late in the 2018 legislative session, California Governor Jerry Brown, in his last term as Governor, signed a series of bills that will increase fairness and developmentally appropriate treatment for children and youth accused of violating criminal laws.

These bills made it to the Governor’s desk, in large part, because of the efforts of many …

Damian Spieckerman, PJDC Juvenile Defender of The Year (2018)

PJDC is proud to announce that Damian Spieckerman was recently awarded the 2018 PJDC Defender of the Year Award at the PJDC Annual Roundtable. As a Deputy Public Defender with the Solano County Public Defender’s Office, Damian has spent half of his 15-year career as a public defender advocating for youth in the juvenile delinquency …

Great Appellate Case Regarding Transfer Hearings

In J.N. v. Superior Court (2018) 23 Cal.App.5th 706 the California Court of Appeal reversed a finding of transfer to the adult court because it found that the trial court “improperly evaluated the criteria, and applied the wrong burden of proof.” This case is particularly meaningful because J.N. was 20 years old at the time …

California Supreme Court Rejects Actuarial Approach to Parole Eligibility

In a 4-3 decision, the California Supreme Court held that a 50-year-to-life sentence for youth ineligible for parole under California’s Youthful Offender Parole Act violates the 8th Amendment within the meaning of Graham v. Florida. (People v. Contreras et al, S224564, filed Feb. 26, 2018). The majority opinion, penned by Justice Liu, and …

Governor Brown Signs Huge Package of Criminal Justice Reform Bills

On Wednesday, October 11, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a package of legislation which — in the words of the Governor’s own press release — will “improve California’s criminal and juvenile justice systems, restore the power of judges to impose criminal sentences and reduce recidivism through increased rehabilitation.”

Many of these bills would not have …

First District: Dismissal of 707(b) Offense Under WIC 782 Requires Sealing Under 781

In a sweeping published decision, the Court of Appeal granted David T.’s motion to seal his juvenile petition for a robbery, a 707(b) offense. The Court held that “because the court’s order setting aside the robbery finding and dismissing the petition under section [Welfare and Institutions Code section] 782 erased the petition as if it

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN FOR ROUNDTABLE 2017

Looking for MCLE credits to help you demonstrate competence under the new California Rules of Court, rule 5.664 (AB 703)? Or just want to be up on the latest developments in California juvenile justice and build your knowledge in specific areas of the law?

PJDC’s Annual Roundtable brings together juvenile advocates from around California for …

LA County Bar Association Honors Two Juvenile Defenders

In a historic first, the Los Angeles County Bar Association has named two juvenile defense attorneys the “Defense Attorneys of the Year.” At its May 2017 Criminal Justice Awards dinner, long time juvenile defenders Rourke Stacy of the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office and Maureen Pacheco of the Los Angeles County Alternate Public Defender’s …