WATCHDOGS FOR JUSTICE
Watchdogs for Justice (WFJ) is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization established in 2003 by a group of criminal defense attorneys who were appalled by the number of young people, especially young Black men, entering the crimnal justice system. When we walked into the courtroom and say all the young people, we asked ourselves two questions:
Number 1: Why is this happening? Number 2: What can we do about it? Upon investigation, we concluded that there were four primary reasons so many youths were entering the system.
- Making bad choices
- Lack of respect for authority
- Allowing someone else to think for them
- Going along to get along.
We began conducting seminars and workshops in schools, Churches, libraries and any place we could find young people. Our targeted age group is 9 to 25 (previously 9 to 19). We reach out to youth, their parents and community leaders. It takes all of us working together to change the furture for our youth. They are our future.
WATCHDOGS FOR JUSTICE MEMBERS
Clara Hunter King is a founding member and president of Watchdogs For Justice (WFJ). She has served as a criminal defense attorney and advocate for juvenile justice since 1996. She, along with other members of the WFJ team, has written four crime-prevention books–This is not Cool, Volumes I & II— that will steer young people away from the pitfalls that can land them in jail or prison. This is not Cool, Volumes I made the Essence Magazine Best Seller’s List in April, 2007. King published her third crime-prevention book, Thirty Five Years On Death Row, in December, 2012. Her most recent book, Keeping Youth out of Prison, A legal Guide For Teens and their Parents in Plain English, was published in March, 2015. You may order books by clicking on the Buy Book page on this website.
Lawanda J. O’Bannon, a founding member of WFJ, is currently employed as a federal defender. She was in private practice as a criminal defense attorney and advocate for juvenile justice for five years. She has been a criminal defense attorney for over 20 years. She is co-author of Volume I and II of the This Is Not Cool book series.
Dana Harrell has been in private practice for fifteen years. Her practice includes criminal defense, family law, and personal injury. She has also served as an advocate for juveniles.
Janine Brooks is a private investigator. She works with criminal defense attorneys as well as attorneys handling civil cases. She is co-author of Volume II of the THIS IS NOT COOL book series.
Ella Alis Hughes is currently in private practice. Her practice includes criminal defense, family law, personal injury and civil litigation. She also advocates for juvenile justice and parental rights.
Frank Conwell is a business man and long time juvenile advocate who joined WFJ in 2013. He has had extensive experience and influence with young men who have become intangled in the criminal justice system.
Daisy Graham is a juvenile advocate who joined WFJ in March, 2015. She has been a Big Sister for over six years and has had many years experience helping to steer youngster in the right direction.
Derek Graham is a juvenile advocate who joined WFJ in 2016. He is a military retiree with many years experience helping to steer at-risk individuals in the right direction.
Deborah Young joined WFJ on June 17, 2017.
Rev. Carolyn Jackson joined WFJ on June 17, 2017.