Last month, http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-juvenile-defense-20160405-story.html, provided an article on a big issue occurring within the juvenile courts. On Tuesday, April 4, 2017, Los Angeles County supervisors gathered to vote in hopes of finding better ways to improve the defense team being provided to minors accused of serious crimes.
There has been an uprising issue in the L.A county’s misrepresentation of juveniles in the courts. The pay structure is causing the juvenile clients to get bad service which can result in unfair practices. Often times public defenders and panel attorney’s are not provided any resources. They are paid a flat fee of $340-$360 per case, in addition to having to pay for resources such as investigators or training out of pocket. There is no doubt that by expecting this payout the motivation behind pursuing these cases is slim. With the inability to afford a private attorney’s, families are appointed public defenders but when they are not available their cases are to be given to panel attorney’s.
Those cases taken upon by panel attorney’s are often times more serious and complex crimes, which often lead the minor to being transferred to adult court more often than they would if a public defender was to take on their case. This can bring about many negative consequences being that the average age for offenses to occur are from late childhood to teenage years. During this time, environmental factors take a toll on the actions that come about. If we allow the juvenile courts to send minors to the adult courts there is no hope to change their lives around.