|News from the Director
PANEL ATTORNEYS WHO HAVE A CURRENT OR RECENT SAN MATEO COUNTY
DELINQUENCY CASE WITH A CYA DISPOSITION:
Last week, San Mateo County Presiding Juvenile Court Judge Marta Diaz made a decision to stop sending juveniles to California Youth Authority (CYA) institutions, citing the Farrell v. Harper reports of abuse and dangerous conditions at the agency's prisons. (Kim, San Mateo County Boycotts Youth Authority, S.F. Chronicle (Feb. 13, 2004) p. 27-A.) On February 17, 2004, Judge Diaz ordered San Mateo County probation officers to investigate all 54 current San Mateo County CYA commitments and to submit a written report to her about each ward. Investigation will include interviews with wards and a review of ward files. The reports, due February 27, 2004, will contain probation findings and an evaluation as to whether the ward is benefitting from CYA commitment. From the reports, Judge Diaz will make a determination in each case whether to sua sponte recall commitment and modify the disposition.
When the probation reports are completed, a copy of each will be sent to Gerard F. Hilliard, Managing Juvenile Attorney of the Private Defender Program. Mr. Hilliard will then contact FDAP panel attorneys who represent or have represented San Mateo wards who are currently at CYA. In the event a case is not recalled, panel attorneys may coordinate efforts with Private Defender attorneys to investigate, prepare and file petitions for modification (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 779). FDAP has sample petitions available for this purpose. If you have a San Mateo County J-Crim case with a CYA disposition, contact your FDAP buddy.
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