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Winston Peters Receives American Bar Association Juvenile Justice Award

Winston Peters

Winston A. Peters, a member of the Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network in California, is being honored by the American Bar Association (ABA) for his advocacy and commitment to youth in the field of juvenile justice. Peters will receive this year's Livingston Hall Juvenile Justice Award, named in memory of Livingston Hall, a leader in juvenile justice and professor emeritus at Harvard Law School. The award is given in recognition of outstanding commitment and service in the field of juvenile justice and advocacy on behalf of children impacted by the juvenile justice system.  Peters will be presented with the award on July 31, 2009 during the ABA's annual conference in Chicago.

“Winston is an inspiration to all of us working on behalf of youth in the justice system,” said Patti Puritz, executive director of the National Juvenile Defender Center. “This award shines a light not only on Winston, but on defenders across the country that play such a critical role in the lives of court-involved youth.” 

Peters is the Assistant Public Defender in the Office of the Los Angeles County Public Defender, the oldest and largest such office in the United States.  As such, he oversees the executive and administrative duties for the Public Defender and Chief Deputy Public Defender. This includes oversight of the fiscal budget, human resources and management Information systems. Peters also manages the Special Operations Bureau’s Juvenile Division, which includes the juvenile mental health and drug courts, restorative and collaborative justice programs, adult drug courts/Prop 36 courts, re-entry programs, initiatives and grants.

Peters, who has also been responsible for implementing the vision and reforms of Public Defender Michael Judge, has become a national and statewide leader in his own right. He serves as the Governor's appointee on the California State Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Peters also serves on the Advisory Board of the UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law's Juvenile Justice Policymaker Education Project. Recently elected Assistant Secretary Treasurer of the California Public Defenders Association (CPDA), Peters also serves as the Chairperson of its Juvenile Justice Subcommittee.

Recently, he testified before the Los Angeles City Council's Committee on Gang Violence and Youth Development about the holistic legal advocacy that the Public Defender Office's Juvenile Division provides its clients and the leadership role his office takes in collaborative juvenile justice programs.  Subsequently, Peters and Judge were invited to testify before the entire city council and were presented with a Los Angeles City Council Resolution signed by the mayor of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles City Attorney, and the full city council, for their leadership and commitment to holistic legal advocacy on behalf of children and families impacted by the juvenile justice system.

A graduate of University of California Hastings College of the Law, Peters received his Bachelor's Degree in History from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Reform areas: Juvenile indigent defense

States: California

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