Excellence in Juvenile Defense Conference

7th Annual Excellence in Juvenile Defense Conference

Save the date and join us for another two-day, multi-track specialized juvenile defense training next spring.  The 7th Annual Excellence in Juvenile Defense Conference will take place on April 25 and 26, 2019 at the Ralph Carr Judicial Center in Denver.  Registration opens in January, stay tuned for more details.

6th Annual Excellence in Juvenile Defense Conference
The 6th Annual Excellence in Juvenile Defense Conference took place on April 26-27, 2018 at the Ralph Carr Judicial Center in Denver. The Conference was organized and put on by the Colorado Juvenile Defender Center in conjunction with the Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel and Office of the Child’s Representative.

Conference attendees included attorneys, both defense and guardians ad litem, and social workers from throughout Colorado. The conference featured a JTIP (Juvenile Training Immersion Program) track, which allowed attorneys to break off into small groups and delve deeper into specific legal issues. This particular track focused on four legal issues: competency, client statements, immigration, and sexual assault cases. It gave participants the opportunity to discuss specific fact patterns, and have a roundtable discussion utilizing practical problem-solving skills as wells as legal analysis.

All participants were able to enjoy sessions that focused on how to advocate for youth in placement, as well as the role of counsel – both defense and guardian ad litem – in delinquency cases. Kristin Henning, a faculty member at Georgetown Law School, presented two interesting lectures. They were on the topics of implicit racial bias and how to raise the issue of race in your legal advocacy. Her presentations were thought-provoking, forcing the participants to confront their own implicit biases, while also giving practitioners concrete advocacy tools to use when representing youth.

The highlight for many at the conference was a session featuring a mother and son who have been through the Colorado juvenile justice system. Their story was one of perseverance and determination within the system. The then-juvenile, now adult recounted how his mental health deteriorated within juvenile justice institutions. He told the group that he speaks out about the severe institutional hardships he endured. He speaks publicly about his experience because of the friends he left behind when he was released. A standing ovation ended the conference.

If you missed the conference, you can order a homestudy CLE video recording HERE