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  • Description

    The Maryland Office of the Public Defender has initiated a pilot project to develop a specialized unit for the purpose of representing “emerging adult” clients. This innovative project focuses on 18-25 year olds who tend to be over-represented in our prisons and criminal legal system despite indications from scientific research which presents them as more capable of growth and change, less culpable and still maturing neurologically. More recent research indicates that the emerging-adult prison population represents the country’s worst racial disparities.

    This CLE course will present this project and how Maryland will utilize it to develop cutting-edge strategies to defend this population and thereby initiate change throughout the system.

  • Instructor Bio

    Jennifer Park

    Jen Park has twelve years of experience as a skilled litigator with the Maryland Office of the Public Defender. She has argued creative motions and had successful trials in every area of the criminal system: misdemeanor, juvenile delinquency, and serious felony. For the last two years, Jen has developed a more focused practice and is now one of the first attorneys in Maryland to engage in the specialized practice of zealously representing Emerging Adults.

    She previously served as the Juvenile Division supervisor and District Court Division supervisor in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Jen started with the Prince George’s County Public Defender’s office as a law clerk in 2006. She has worked in the Prince George’s County courthouse ever since, first practicing in the misdemeanor division as a student attorney, then clerking for Judge Lamasney, and finally getting her dream job as an attorney with OPD in 2009. Jen earned her undergrad degree from Syracuse University, a Master's Degree from Ohio State, and her J.D. from George Washington Law School.