July 27, 2018 — The Center for Children, Law & Policy at the University of Houston Law Center recently co-sponsored a three-day workshop to "train the trainers" in the skills and knowledge they can share with juvenile defenders to better represent youths in court.
Eighteen trainers from the southwest region participated in the Juvenile Training Immersion Program from July 18-20. They will serve as resources for juvenile advocates throughout the country, but primarily in Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah.
"The right to counsel was guaranteed to youth in the landmark Supreme Court case In re Gault," said Ellen Marrus, Royce Till Professor of Law and director of the Center for Children, Law & Policy. "However, this does not mean anything if counsel is not well trained in the nuances of representing youth in court. That is what JTIP does — trains lawyers to zealously represent their young clients."
The training program was developed by the National Juvenile Defender Center, a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting justice for all children by ensuring excellence in juvenile defense.
The UHLC workshop, in conjunction with the Access to Justice Project of the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, was the first training session to involve tribal leaders who will be able to bring this program to advocates for tribal youth.