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The Youth Advocacy Division (YAD) ensures that every child from an
indigent family in Massachusetts has access to zealous legal
representation that incorporates a Youth Development Approach, resulting
in fair treatment in court. YAD works with each client to achieve both
legal and life success. Accordingly, YAD provides leadership,
training, support, and oversight to a diverse and collaborative juvenile
defense bar across the state. Through individual representation and
systemic advocacy, YAD partners with other state agencies, as well as
community organizations and local agencies, to work toward creating
safer and healthier communities.
Established by the Committee for Public Counsel Services in 1992, the
Youth Advocacy Project (YAP) began with a goal of protecting and
advancing the legal and human rights of children and promoting their
healthy development, through active partnerships in Boston’s
communities. At the time, YAP consisted of one fulltime and one
half-time attorneys. YAP became the Youth Advocacy Division in 2009 and
now includes over four hundred specially trained private attorneys that
accept delinquency, youthful offender, appeals, juvenile murder parole
hearings, and GCL revocation cases, as well as nine staff offices in
which lawyers and forensic social service advocates work together as a
team to help young people achieve their legal and life goals.