Improve D.C.'s Juvenile Justice System.
D.C. Lawyers for Youth (“DCLY”) (www.dcly.org) is an organization founded by alumni of the Georgetown Juvenile Justice Clinic. The purpose of DCLY is to improve the Washington D.C. juvenile justice system through advocacy, direct service, and the dissemination of information. By bridging the worlds of ideas and action, DCLY will empower and engage the District’s legal community and youth to effect positive change. We believe that true positive change cannot occur if we limit our view of the juvenile justice system to the time when a child gets arrested to the time he gets released from the custody of the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS). As a result, we take a holistic approach to improving the juvenile justice system organizing our efforts by the three phases of the system: prevention, representation, and rehabilitation.
1. Investing in our youth early will reduce crime and make it less likely that our youth will come into contact with the juvenile justice system.
2. Improving the quality of representation for youth requires the recognition that the juvenile defender is both attorney and social worker.
3. Improving the services provided to our youth subject to court or DYRS supervision will ensure that the rehabilitative goal of the system is met.