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Juvenile Delinquency

Advocates and attorneys debate best approach to juvenile defense in L.A. County

Advocates and attorneys debate best approach to juvenile defense in L.A. County

Advocates, former juvenile offenders and attorneys who represent children accused of crimes agree that Los Angeles County's system for providing juveniles with legal defense is flawed, but disagree -- sometimes vehemently -- about the best way to fix it.

Los Angeles County supervisors voted Tuesday to commission a report on options for overhauling the way juveniles are defended.

Those options could include changing the pay structure for the private attorneys who are contracted to represent some juveniles; transferring the duties to the county's alternate public defender's office; or combining the public defender and alternate public defender into a single office with...

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