Coming Soon – Juvenile Law Boot Camp and Alternatives Program

Coming soon – through generous funding from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention through a grant awarded by the Division of Justice and Community Services, Public Defender Services will host a 40-hour virtual CLE series for West Virginia attorneys representing children in status offenses and delinquency cases. With expertise from the Juvenile Law […] Continue reading

Women’s History Month – Making History for the Wrong Reasons

The month of March is observed as Women’s History Month. But in the West Virginia criminal legal system, women are making history for the wrong reasons. West Virginia ranks ninth in the country for rates of incarcerating women, and female incarceration has grown 2,731% between 1978 to 2019. Nearly three-quarters (72.21%) of women incarcerated at Lakin Correctional Center […] Continue reading

Parental Rights: II

The Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (ASFA) was passed by the United States Congress to encourage the adoption of children who have been in foster care placements and to emphasize permanent living placements as quickly as possible. Specifically, a State must file a petition for termination of parental rights after a child has […] Continue reading

Parental Rights: Part I

Suzanne Sellers, in a January 5, 2019 Letter to the Editor of the New York Times, thanks the paper for its apology to “crack mothers” who were demonized through journalism and the media with the popular tagline that stigmatized many substance using women and their children, “crack babies.” Ms. Sellers notes that she had been […] Continue reading