Post from Charlottesville Prejudice & Civil Rights Watch

What Could Go Wrong If You Don’t Require a Lawyer for Juveniles in Commitment Hearings? This.February 11, 2009 — hymes

Thank you to the Senate Courts of Justice Committee for passing by indefinitely SB 1303 which would have allowed commitment hearings for juveniles to be held without a lawyer and without a Guardian ad litem. It would have left this up to the judge’s discretion instead of current law which requires the presence of both. Since juveniles as well as adults can be committed to for-profit psychiatric hospitals, although the story below is beyond rare, in Virginia there was a problem with abuse of process with adults in commitment hearings for gain more than a decade ago. So by killing this bill, the Senate Courts of Justice Committee has ensured that the below could not happen to teenagers in the psychiatric commitment setting as it did shockingly for years in Pennsylvania in the Juvenile criminal court.

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