Challenging Vermont Department for Children and Families (DCF) policy permitting youth to be placed in juvenile detention center without adequate due process.
D.C., a juvenile, was transferred to the Woodside Juvenile Rehabilitation Center—the functional equivalent of a jail—after his placement with a family member became unavailable. DCF admitted D.C. unilaterally, without notice to D.C. or his counsel and without judicial oversight, and then extended his confinement without appropriate due process. The Defender General filed a habeas petition on D.C.’s behalf, which the superior court denied. Working with other partners of the Vermont Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, we filed an amicus brief in support of D.C.’s appeal to the Supreme Court. The Court dismissed the case as moot because the client had aged out of DCF custody. We are exploring future challenges to DCF policy.