Oct. 15, 2015 – The Southwest Juvenile Defender Center based at the University of Houston Law Center has been awarded a federal grant to train attorneys with the specialized skills needed to represent tribal and rural youths in the juvenile justice system.
"It has always been difficult for these defenders to receive the necessary tools to provide children with quality representation as they practice in isolated areas," said Professor Ellen Marrus, director of UHLC's Center for Children, Law & Policy which works in collaboration with the Southwest Juvenile Defender Center.
Marrus, UHLC George Butler Research Professor of Law, said over three years the center will share nearly $1.3 million provided by the Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention as part of its Smart on Juvenile Justice: Enhancing Youth Access to Justice Initiative. The southwest region includes Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah.
The awards were established to develop strategies to ensure that every youth involved with the juvenile justice system has fair and equal access to quality legal representation.