PJDC launches new website!

PJDC announces the creation of our new web-based resource center, developed with support from the MacArthur Foundation’s Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network (JIDAN) and volunteer efforts from JIDAN Team Members. The PJDC resource center includes this web site; a PJDC members-only listserv; and a committee framework by which to address training, resource development, litigation support, and capacity building for juvenile defender community.  The web site is being partially launched in September 2009, and the full site, including an extensive resource center, will be launched in October 2009.

At the time of the full launch, we will reconstitute the existing “CYACoalition” listserve under PJDC.  Current members will receive an invitation to reapply for membership.   Based on research indicating that only a small percentage of  attorneys representing children in delinquency cases are curently involved with PJDC, we have also amassed a statewide list of potential members and will be contacting them over the next several months.

Once the new listserv and web site are fully functioning, we will turn our attention to zeroing in on training needs and improving trial support for juvenile defense attorneys.   This will include development of a PJDC expert panel; regular web-based trainings with MCLE credit; regional trainings; development of  a comprehensive juvenile defense manual and other materials requested by members; and participation in amicus work and legislative policy discussions.  We look forward to this work as a means of helping juvenile defense counsel and advocates to do their work better, particularly in parts of the defense community that have traditionally been underserved.   Through this work, PJDC hopes to assure that children coming before the juvenile court truly receive  effective representation by skilled, well-prepared, adequately resourced, and zealous counsel.