Thursday, July 9, 2009

Must-have resource for youth workers

If you work with young people and do not yet have a copy of Guide to the DC Juvenile Justice System just published by Council for Court Excellence you are missing out on a terrific resource!

The Guide rocks!   First, it is easy to read – the layout is perfect and navigating it is a dream.   Second, the content is useful and again, easy to read.   The three sections that describe how the juvenile justice system works, beginning to end.   Each section starts with a summary of the stage and then goes right into frequently asked questions.   Best of all, this is what is known as a "plain language" document, meaning it takes complex and complicated information and makes it understandable to the rest of us non-lawyers.

What you’ll find in the Guide:

  • The investigation stage
  • The trial/fact-finding stage
  • The sentencing/rehabilitation stage
  • Special situations – drug court, transfer into the adult system, traffic offenses, juveniles not competent to stand trial
  • The lawyers’ responsibility to the young person
  • Additional information for victims and eyewitnesses
  • Glossary
  • Important contact information

This publication is being sold as an important resource for parents, victims and youth – but providers of services who play a role in the lives of young people also should get a copy and read it.   The Guide is free and available online and in print in English and Spanish.   For online copies, go to the Council for Court Excellence Web site:

For printed copies, call CCE, (202) 785-5917.