July 28, 2009
CfJJ hosted a Juvenile Justice Forum featuring Juvenile Court Chief Justice Michael Edgerton on July 28 at the Boston Bar Association. Judge Edgerton, who served as General Counsel to the Trial Court from 1982 until his appointment to the Juvenile Court in 1996, was sworn in as Chief Justice of the Juvenile Court on March 18 to replace retiring Chief Justice Martha Grace. The Forum was attended by more than 50 people who came from across the state and from many of the agencies and communities most involved in the juvenile justice system.
Chief Justice Edgerton spoke at length regarding his grave concerns about the impact of recent budget cuts on the Court's ability to serve children and families in the Commonwealth and his plans to improve the administration of the Court. He also responded to questions on several issues, including the possibility of including public defenders and provider agencies in efforts to improve court administration; the lack of court data; racial disparities in the Juvenile Court; and the role schools sometimes play in children ending up in Juvenile Court. The forum presented a wonderful opportunity for participants to express their concerns and to learn more about the Juvenile Court and its new Chief Justice.