Archives

Written by Elsie Hillman-Gordon

Feb 11

2020

D.C. Court of Appeals Extends Right to Free Counsel to Children Committed to the Custody of the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services

Last week, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals issued an important ruling that ensures free counsel for children from indigent families in certain hearings before the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services.  Once a child is adjudicated delinquent, the Superior Court may commit the child to the custody of the Department, which makes decisions as significant as where the child will be housed (in a secure facility or in the community) and the services the child will receive.  At Team Decision Making Meetings, the Department reviews the child’s progress toward rehabilitation and decides whether changes should be made to the child’s placement or services.  At Community Status Review Hearings, the Department determines whether to revoke a child’s community placement if the child is alleged to have violated the conditions of release.  The Court of Appeals ruled that children are entitled to free counsel at both of these types of hearings.

For more information on this ruling, please see the press releases of Open City Advocates, which won the appeal, and the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel.

Jan 28

2020

Jim Sandman Stepping Down as President of Legal Services Corporation

This week, Jim Sandman announced he will be stepping down as President of Legal Services Corporation, the largest funder of civil legal aid for low-income people in the country. Legal Aid is grateful for Jim’s contributions to making justice a reality for so many Americans and for his tireless advocacy for access to justice issues. Read more →

Jan 27

2020

Legal Aid Mourns the Passing of J. Charles Jones, Civil Rights Activist

The Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia was saddened to learn of the passing of civil rights activist J. Charles Jones on December 27, 2019. In 1966, Mr. Jones led a four-day, 64-mile march around the Beltway to protest housing segregation near capital-area military installations. That protest, along with his staging of sit-ins at the Pentagon, helped spur Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara in 1967 to ban military personnel from living in segregated housing near Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. Read more →