University of Pretrial Library

Undervalued: An Assessment of Access to and Quality of Juvenile Defense Counsel in New Hampshire - NJDC 2020 

10-06-2020 15:53

The report found that an absence of dedicated juvenile defense practitioners in New Hampshire leads to many youth waiving their rights and facing long-term consequences. Nearly every aspect of the defense system is set up to devalue juvenile delinquency cases, often leading to youth receiving constitutionally deficient counsel. The assessment also found that defense counsel is often not appointed early enough in a young person’s case in the New Hampshire juvenile court system. Youth who are not detained sometimes appear at their first court hearing without having spoken with a lawyer, and the assessment team observed numerous young people pleading guilty to misdemeanor-level charges at their first court hearing, without legal representation.

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