South Carolina: Juvenile Indigent Defense: A Report on Access to Counsel and Quality of Representation in Delinquency Proceedings (2010)

Children have a clearly established constitutional right to the effective assistance of counsel in delinquency cases and juvenile defenders are vital to protect and enforce that right. In addition, skilled juvenile defenders can play an important role in opening doors to positive opportunities and helping children become productive and contributing members of society. As stated in the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice 2009 Annual Report, “Effective legal representation protects public safety by helping ensure that a juvenile offender receives the treatment or services necessary to prevent further offending.”

The purpose of this assessment is to provide comprehensive information about access to and quality of defense counsel in delinquency proceedings in South Carolina; to identify structural and systemic barriers that impede effective representation of children; to highlight best practices where found; and, to make recommendations that will serve as a guide for improving juvenile defender services for indigent children in the state.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Assessment, Gault Center Publications, Resource Library
Tags: Access to Counsel, Quality of Representation, Youth Defense Systems