The Arkansas Public Defender Juvenile Ombudsman advocates on behalf of youth who have been committed to the Division of Youth Services. The Ombudsman provides independent oversight at all facilities, group homes, and step-down placements for committed youth and their guardians while they are in the juvenile prison system and while they are on aftercare.
The primary mission of this position is to make certain these youth are safe while in custody and to assure they have access to the services for which they are entitled.
A list of services may include:
• Observe the conditions of the facilities and advocate for improvement
• Review the operations and interaction of staff and youth
• Inform youth of available services and assist in obtaining them
• Investigation of complaints and work to uncover problems
• Reporting problems to DYS leadership, juvenile courts and attorneys as deemed necessary
• Coordinating with DYS to implement solutions
• Assisting public defenders in transfer court proceedings.
Arkansas Public Defender Juvenile Ombudsman