Lately, juvenile justice has appeared with considerably more empathy towards youth and child-focused strategies. Moreover, the Supreme Court recognized the negative impact of harsh punishments and implemented policies that identify the consequences of such traumas and opt for the proper treatment of individuals. Consequently, it is now common for courts to appoint defenders for young people to protect their rights to increase juvenile justice and eliminate the unfavorable outcomes of traumas.
There are three main ways to provide public defenders to young people. The Supreme Court opts for increasing juvenile justice by focusing on “evidence-based treatment approaches” and giving young people with “child advocacy” (Merlo & Benekos, 2019). Merlo and Benekos (2019) stated that, therefore, defenders could work by contract, apply to public defender models, and be assigned by the court. The most popular option in the U.S. is to appoint public defenders for youth by juvenile probation officers or social caseworkers. Moreover, juvenile court jurisdiction is required to provide a defense council for low-income families since they cannot afford to work with private counsel to protect their juveniles (Merlo & Benekos, 2019). However, mentioned types of counsels operate differently, so they do not always reach the same results in their work. For instance, the difference in performance between public defenders, those assigned by the court, and private counsels exists due to personal involvement. The private ones could be more interested in the justification of their clients because of the fee for their services. On the other hand, public defense counsel usually works with several clients simultaneously; therefore, it is complicated to concentrate on a specific case, leading to frequent falls in defending their clients.
To sum up, as the Supreme Court has developed the concept of juvenile justice, it is becoming common to create policies that focus on eliminating the negative consequences of young peoples traumas. Therefore, juveniles are now provided with counsel, public or private defenders, to justify their clients in court. However, they operate in different ways, and the most successful are considered private ones since they are more interested in defending the young person due to fees for their services.
Merlo, A. V., & Benekos, P. J. (2019). The juvenile justice system (9th ed.). New Jersey: Pearson.