In 2005, a group of attorneys known as the Statewide Leadership Group, in conjunction with the Defender Association of Philadelphia, banned together to form the Juvenile Defenders Association of Pennsylvania, Inc. (JDAP).
The Association’s focus is to work in the interest of delinquent, disadvantaged youth and train Juvenile Defenders, in best defense practices, across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
JDAP began its legal training program modestly with two to three seminars throughout the year, covering three counties. Since then, we have conducted trainings in over twelve counties in the Commonwealth, and facilitate an average of five to eight programs each year.
We routinely train two hundred and fifty to three hundred (300-400) attorneys per year from over thirty counties. Throughout 2014 JDAP held 3 seminars – The Annual PACDL Joint Conference in Harrisburg, Adolescent Development in Allegheny County, and the Juvenile Tract at the Pennsylvania Conference on Juvenile Justice in Harrisburg. Throughout 2015 we have already held a Defender Boot Camp: Back To Basics in Luzerne County and again in April, JDAP partnered with the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (PACDL) and the Public Defender Association of Pennsylvania for their joint annual meeting in Harrisburg.
Presently, JDAP has over 150 members from across the Commonwealth. We have created a “virtual community” through the use of our listserv and website, which allows members to ask questions, stay current on latest policy proposals, post comments and get feedback from each other.
Stay tuned for the latest updates concerning Juvenile Justice and more in Pennsylvania!