Alejandro, first on the left, with the team of youth defense lawyers of Santiago.

I was delighted when I received the news that we had been selected and that our project had won. JusticeMakers This JusticeMakers fellowship will assist us greatly in our efforts to provide quality defense for young people because not only is it necessary for the youths defense to make appropriate arguments before the courts but also requires that the client gives the defense their confidence. There is a very personal relationship between lawyer and defendant, requiring the lawyer to worry about more than just the technical aspects of defense, including the emotional side of the juvenile.

These young people usually come from families with serious problems, and many of them are not even visited by their families while they are detained in prison, hence speaking with their lawyer is particularly critical to lower the level of anxiety of these inmates. Often, when speaking to lawyers, these juveniles do not understand what is being said, so it has to be explained to them several times what their legal situation is, in a way that they will understand. This is extra effort for youth advocates but this innovative system of videoconference interviews will of course be a great support to the work of defense lawyers.

We believe this addition will have a major impact on our community and that it will open the door to a more comprehensive defense, concerned not only with the defense of juveniles but also with other issues surrounding the protection of youth. We also believe that it will serve as an example for implementation in other cities, especially in those remote areas where defenders must travel many miles to meet with their clients.

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