The Eaton Law Firm’s Pro Bono Project:
Street Law at Incarcerated Youth Program
At D.C. Central Treatment Facility (CTF)
The attorneys at The Eaton Law Firm PLLC, in partnership with The Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, the law firm Coburn & Greenbaum PLLC and the Georgetown Law Center’s D.C. Street Law Clinic, volunteer as mentors at the D.C. Correctional Treatment Facility (CTF) for the Incarcerated Youth Street Law Program (IYP). The program serves D.C. Youth ages 16-17 who have been charged with violent crimes and are being prosecuted as adults. The mentees are at various stages in the criminal justice system. Some have just been arrested and are awaiting a trial date, while others have been convicted and are awaiting sentencing and/or are in a post sentencing status and are awaiting transfer into the federal bureau of prisons. The IYP Street Law Program at CTF is facilitated in conjunction with the D.C. Public Schools’ Incarcerated Youth Educational Program.
The IYP Street Law Program focuses on teaching the mentees valuable and practical skills about the mechanics of the American justice system and their rights as citizens. The programs tries to connect with the students outside of their pending legal situations and attempts to broaden their horizons by teaching them the anatomy of trials from opening statements, direct examinations, presentation and admission of evidence, objections and court rulings, cross examinations, closing statements and jury deliberations. At the end of the program, the mentors organize a “mock trial” at the CTF and bring in Georgetown Law Center Students to act as witnesses and a real judge/lawyer to preside over the trial. Mentees are assigned “trial roles” and play the parts of attorneys doing every aspect of the trial, including opening and closing statements and direct and cross examinations.
Principal Managing Attorney Terry Eaton is entering his second year as a mentor with the IYP Program at CTF. Mr. Eaton, a former prosecutor at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Columbia has come face to face with the devastation violent crime has on the community, its victims and those who perpetrate these offenses. Mr. Eaton has first-hand experience prosecuting D.C. Youth for adult offenses and now seeks to use his energy to uplift those youth and help them make a second chance possible. “I am moved by the youth in the IYP Street Law Program. They come from backgrounds where no one has really shown them love and care. I want them to know someone does care and hopes they can make a positive contribution to society.” Mr. Eaton’s roots in the Street Law Program run deep. Prior to initiating this pro bono partnership, he volunteered for several years at Duke Ellington High School as an Associate at the law firm Dickstein Shapiro LLP. It is with great pride that the attorneys at The Eaton Law Firm PLLC volunteer their talents to participate in this worthy pro bono legal project.