Youth Defense Training

Youth Defense Training and Sustainable Capacity Project

The project is funded by a grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). It is designed to develop training and resources for defenders and increase the community and capacity of youth defense across Utah through a variety of initiatives.

Youth defense is an area of specialized practice requiring distinct skills and knowledge. To support development of that expertise, the Utah Statewide Juvenile Delinquency Defense Training and Sustainable Capacity Project 

  • offers an ongoing quarterly training program for attorneys appointed to represent youth across Utah;
  • is developing a series of five youth defense practice toolkits: Utah Juvenile Record Expungement Toolkit, Toolkit for Representing Youth Charged with Sex Offenses, Statewide Contacts and Resource Guide, Timelines and New Practitioner Toolkit, and Suppression Hearings Toolkit;
  • fosters a statewide community of defenders through its mentorship initiatives and outreach work with an eye towards sustainable capacity; and
  • aims to amplify youth experience and center the importance of system-involved voices through a series of panels featuring young adults with prior experience in Utah’s juvenile court system.

If you currently represent youth in delinquency cases, or are interested in youth defense work, please contact Program Manager Amanda Butler (, to be added to the project's listserv.

    Free Toolkits for Youth Defenders

    The project is developing juvenile defense practice resources. Two toolkits are currently available:

    Overview of Utah juvenile expungement statutes and procedures for youth who had petitions filed in juvenile court or had contact with the juvenile justice system. The expungement of juvenile court records is governed by Utah Code § 78A-6-1501 et. seq.

    Outline of procedures, including timelines, rules, and applicable statutes. Also provides overviews of various aspects of representation, practical tips on how to navigate various situations, and citations to articles, rules, law, cases, and studies.

    The Indigent Defense Commission thanks the Gault Center and the Southwest Juvenile Defender Center for their partnership and the project’s Advisory Board and consultants for their contributions to this project’s success.

    Project Advisory Board

    Alexa Arndt
    Utah Juvenile Defender Attorneys

    Sariah Donnahoo
    Clinical Social Worker
    Utah Juvenile Defender Attorneys

    Margaret Lindsay
    Assistant Director
    Utah County Public Defender Association

    Monica Maio
    Managing Appellate Attorney
    Utah Juvenile Defender Attorneys

    Shain Manuele
    Administrative Public Defender
    Iron County

    Carolyn Perkins
    Law Offices of Carolyn Perkins

    David Perry
    Law Offices of Perry & Perry

    Brett Peterson
    Juvenile Justice Services

    Neira Siaperas
    Juvenile Court Administrator
    Administrative Office of Courts

    Anna Thomas
    Policy Analyst
    Voices for Utah Children

    Pamela Vickrey
    Utah Juvenile Defender Attorneys

    JoHanna Williams
    Managing Public Defender
    Sevier and Wayne Counties

    Project Support

    Amy Borror
    Justice Systems Analyst
    The Gault Center

    Amanda Butler
    Program Manager
    Boost Consulting

    Adam Trupp
    Assistant Director
    Utah Indigent Defense Commission