In 2005, a group of attorneys known as the Statewide Leadership Group, in conjunction with the Defender Association of Philadelphia, band together to form the Juvenile Defenders Association of Pennsylvania, Inc. (JDAP). The Association's focus is to work in the interest of delinquent, disadvantaged youth and train juvenile defenders in best defense practices across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
JDAP began its juvenile defender training program modestly with two to three seminars throughout the year, covering three counties. Since then, we have conducted juvenile defender
We routinely train 250 to 300 juvenile defenders per year from over 30 counties. Throughout 2014, JDAP held 3 seminars – The Annual PACDL Joint Conference in Harrisburg, Adolescent Development in Allegheny County, and the Juvenile Tract at the Pennsylvania Conference on Juvenile Justice in Harrisburg. Throughout 2015, we held a Defender Boot Camp: Back To Basics in Luzerne County, and JDAP partnered with the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (PACDL) and the Public Defender Association of Pennsylvania for their joint annual meeting in Harrisburg.
Presently, JDAP has over 150 members from across the Commonwealth. We have created a "virtual community" through the use of our listserv and website, which allows members to ask questions, stay current on the latest policy proposals, post comments, and get feedback from each other.