January 22, 2002
Juvenile law center comes to Emory
By Beverly Clark
The School of Law was recently appointed the new home of the Southern
Juvenile Defender Center (SJDC), part of a national network of centers
associated with the American Bar Association (ABA) that provides grassroots
assistance and advocacy for juvenile justice issues.
The law school, through its Barton Child Law and Policy Clinic, was selected
by the ABA Juvenile Justice Center to be the new home of the SJDC, one
of nine regional affiliate centers established by the ABA.
The SJDC serves as a critical resource in the Southeast to promote and
improve legal representation and treatment of juveniles within the juvenile
and criminal justice systems. Through advocacy, training, technical support
and intensive study of issues that affect juvenile justice and the juvenile
defense bar, the SJDC seeks to be a voice for both the children who become
involved in these systems and their defensecounsel.
One of the centers first major projects involves researching and
mapping juvenile detention centers. The project is looking at a numerous
factors, including staffing, overcrowding and referral patterns. The SJDC,
formerly located in Louisiana, also has provided technical support and
advice to numerous juvenile defense attorneys and advocates in the region
since opening last fall.
Our main objective is to improve access to counsel and increase
the quality of legal representation for children in the juvenile justice
system, said Lynn Grindall, managing attorney for the SJDC.
During the next six months, Grindall will travel to the six other states
in the region to get a ground view of what factors are affecting juvenile
justice in different areas around the southeast.
Karen Worthington, director of the Barton Child Law and Policy Clinic, is also director of the SJDC. The clinic serves Georgia as well as the regional states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina. For more information on the SJDC, call 404-712-8705.
Emory University, Copyright 2002