Dilemma of Duties: The Conflicted Role of Juvenile Defenders

Dilemma of Duties: The Conflicted Role of Juvenile Defenders

by Anne M. Corbin

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The role of a juvenile defender is riddled with conflict, and clients are uniquely challenging because of their lack of life experience and their underdeveloped decision-making abilities. In Dilemma of Duties, Anne M. Corbin examines the distinct function of defense counsel in juvenile courts, demonstrating the commonplace presence of role conflict and confusion, even among defenders in jurisdictions that clearly define their role. This study focuses on juvenile defense attorneys in North Carolina, where it is mandated that counselors advocate for their client’s wishes, even if they do not agree it is in the client’s best interest.  
In Dilemma of Duties, Corbin outlines patterns of role conflict that defenders experience, details its impact on counselors and clients in the juvenile justice system, and addresses the powerful influence of the juvenile court culture and the lack of resources for defenders. Tasked with guiding these children, counselors frequently must contend with and manage their clients’ general distrust of adults as they attempt to serve as their voices to the court.
Understanding how juvenile defenders define their role and experience role conflict provides valuable insights into our juvenile justice system, especially its role in upholding due process rights. Such knowledge points to the importance of the training and practices of juvenile court functionaries and the efficacy, credibility, and legitimacy of the juvenile justice system itself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780809336647
Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
Publication date: 06/06/2018
Series: Perspectives on Crime and Justice Series
Edition description: 1st Edition
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Anne M. Corbin is a law-trained social scientist whose research centers on the professional development of lawyers. She has consulted periodically for the Police Foundation and taught at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Thomas College in Maine, Elon University, and Michigan State University. She currently serves the state of Vermont’s professional development needs and resides there with her family.

Table of Contents

List of Charts and Tables ix

Preface xi

Introduction 1

1 History of the Juvenile Defender Role 10

2 The Modern-Day Juvenile Defender 18

3 Juvenile Defender Role Conflict: An Empirical Study 39

4 Zealous Advocate for Whom? 55

5 Land Mines: Role Conflict Prevalence and Sources 85

6 Jungle Gyms: Role Conflict Context 123

7 Navigating Land Mines 139

8 Concluding Thoughts and Future Research 176


A Methods Details: Data Analysis and Validity 197

B Juvenile Defense Practice and Performance Participant Form 199

C Juvenile Defender Role Conflict: Interview Protocol 201

D Coping Responses to Role Conflict: Interview Protocol 203

E Coping Vignettes 204

Notes 207

References 209

Index 219

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