Author Archives: Tamar Birckhead

About Tamar Birckhead


No Substitute for Learning from Experience

I currently practice as a juvenile defense attorney in three different counties in North Carolina. As a faculty member in the Youth Justice Clinic at the University of North Carolina School of Law, I assign cases to third-year law students … Continue reading

Posted in Advocacy, Clinical Legal Education, International Law, Juvenile Court, Law Students, Uncategorized | Comments Off on No Substitute for Learning from Experience

North Carolina House Bill 879: An Unlikely Smooth Ride to Reform

By Eric J. Zogry, the State Juvenile Defender for North Carolina In June 2015, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed House Bill 879 into law.  While there was no ceremony and little press, the new “Juvenile Justice Reform Bill” contained … Continue reading

Posted in Advocacy, Criminal /Juvenile Defense, Guest Blogger, Juvenile Court, North Carolina, State Laws, Uncategorized | Comments Off on North Carolina House Bill 879: An Unlikely Smooth Ride to Reform

Prisoners in Isolation: In Davis v. Ayala, Justice Anthony Kennedy issues a call to action in his discussion of Solitary Confinement

On March 3, 2015, at the conclusion of oral argument in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Davis v. Ayala, No. 13-1428 (U.S. Jun 18, 2015), Justice Anthony Kennedy asked Hector Ayala’s lawyer, Anthony Dain, a question that the justice … Continue reading

Posted in Case Law, Conditions of Confinement, Sentencing, U.S. Supreme Court, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Notes from the Field: Juvenile Court and the Children who End Up There

By Kellie Mannette, Esq. Law Office of Kellie Mannette, PLLC, Chapel Hill, North Carolina It’s been two and a half years since I first met a child I will call Greg. At the time, he was barely 14 and charged … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal /Juvenile Defense, Guest Blogger, Juvenile Court, Juveniles, North Carolina, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Notes from the Field: Juvenile Court and the Children who End Up There

We Must Stop Criminalizing Adolescence

Recently I represented a 14-year-old boy, who I’ll call Wayne, in a local juvenile court in North Carolina. Upon entering the courthouse, Wayne, who was alleged to be “undisciplined,” had to walk past court officers and go through the metal … Continue reading

Posted in Delinquency, Juvenile Court, Juveniles | Comments Off on We Must Stop Criminalizing Adolescence

KIDS in Jail: Narrative Nonfiction about Youth Incarceration

By Jane Guttman, Correctional Educator and Author This story emerged from my work inside a juvenile hall school for the past 14 years.  I have seen a range of incidents, cruelty, and traumas that kids have endured in the juvenile … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Conditions of Confinement, Guest Blogger, Juveniles, Sentencing, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Why do Victims “Lie”?

Written by Amanda Kay, JD, and Ryan L. Gonda, JD[1] Published in conjunction with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges Introduction Children and adult victims of violence and abuse are routinely called upon by the judicial system … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger, Social science, Uncategorized, Victimized Children | Comments Off on Why do Victims “Lie”?

Charged as an Adult because an Adult When Charged

By Kevin Lapp, Associate Professor of Law, Loyola Law School-Los Angeles A curious case from the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals decided last month held that a juvenile was properly tried and sentenced as an adult for a crime committed … Continue reading

Posted in Adult Court, Case Law, Guest Blogger, Juvenile Court, State Laws | 1 Comment

Erasing Adolescence

By Kevin Lapp, Associate Professor, Loyola Law School|Los Angeles One of the urban legends of childhood is that individuals get a clean slate when they turn 18. Of course, like many urban legends, it’s not entirely false. Policies linked to a clean … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Graham v. Florida, Guest Blogger, Media, State Laws, U.S. Supreme Court, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Erasing Adolescence

Juvenile Defense: Small Steps can have Ripple Effects, One Case at a Time

Recently I was in juvenile delinquency court in North Carolina with one of my clients, whom I’ll call Alexis. The 13-year-old African-American girl had just heard from the judge that she would continue to be detained in a juvenile jail … Continue reading

Posted in Conditions of Confinement, Criminal /Juvenile Defense, Delinquency, Juvenile Court, Juveniles, North Carolina | 1 Comment