Advocates for children should be catalysts for systemic change.
Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network
Washington is part of the Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network (JIDAN), an effort supported by the MacArthur Models for Change Initiative. JIDAN was launched in 2008 to engage juvenile justice leadership in targeted strategies to improve juvenile indigent defense policy and practice.
The action network is an issue-focused forum for the development and exchange of ideas and strategies across states, and for sharing practical information and expertise in support model juvenile indigent defense system that ensures the protection of youths’ due process rights throughout the duration of the juvenile court process.
TeamChild convenes Washington’s JIDAN workgroup, which is composed of judges, defenders, and juvenile court staff from around the state. The workgroup has been focusing on the following areas:
- Developing model Judicial Colloquies for use during court proceedings to help youth understand the significance of their actions.
- Implementing Washington’s Waiver of Counsel rule through an initial appearance demonstration project in Yakima.
- Drafting Model Contracts that will incorporate standards of practice and training to improve the level of indigent juvenile defense representation in juvenile court.