In January 2007, the Public Defender created the Juvenile Protection Division to serve as a specialized statewide unit devoted to providing comprehensive post-dispositional representation to and monitoring the conditions of confinement for all OPD juvenile clients detained by or committed to the care and custody of the Department of Juvenile Services (DJS).
The JPD is composed of three attorneys who work collaboratively with the OPD’s juvenile defenders throughout the state to provide post-dispositional representation to OPD’s juvenile clients. In addition to providing direct representation for their own clients, they protect the individual rights of all children represented by OPD who are detained or committed to DJS. They do this by ensuring that these youth receive in a timely manner all services ordered by the courts; are appropriately placed in safe facilities that promote rehabilitation; and receive the educational services to which they are legally entitled.
JPD also provides litigation support to defenders statewide regarding transfer hearings and complex placement issues; assists with situations involving the failure to provide education to children charged as adults and detained in local jails; and serves as a resource to defenders for all matters related to juvenile representation.