Monitor sees improvements in juvenile justice

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – A federal monitor says the Memphis juvenile justice system is improving, but still has a long way to go.

Sandra Simkins, who was hired to oversee reforms at Shelby County Juvenile Court, said in a recent report that she still has concerns about the transfer of minors to adult court.

The Commercial Appeal reports that Simkins, a national expert of due process rights, said defense attorneys face challenges that include not having timely access to their clients' files.

Simkins is overseeing reforms mandated by the federal government after the U.S. Department of Justice released a report that found juveniles were being denied their rights.

Court officials came to an agreement with federal authorities to improve upon 34 specific issues related to due process rights.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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