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 NJDC in the News

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Self-Assessment Tool

The Juvenile Committee of the National Association for Public Defense (NAPD) and NJDC developed a Juvenile Defense Self-Assessment Tool that is intended to create an opportunity to reflect on practices in public defender offices pertaining to the defense of juveniles in delinquency proceedings.

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In Re Gault

50 years ago, the United States Supreme Court affirmed that youth in America’s juvenile courts are entitled to many of the same rights as adults, including the right to counsel, the right to notice of the charges against them, the right against self-incrimination, and the right to confront their accusers. This printed version of the case highlights some of the decision’s most important points.

Watch NJDC’s Former Executive Director at TEDxFoggyBottom

In April, NJDC’s then Executive Director Kim Dvorchak spoke at TEDxFoggyBottom 2016 on access to counsel for children in juvenile court. “It’s common sense, but not common practice,” she said. See the entire video.


Save the Date: Gault at 50 Gala on May 15

It is an open secret in America’s juvenile courts that children are routinely denied access to effective lawyers. Please join us on May 15, 2017, in Washington, DC, as we commemorate the 50th anniversary of In re Gault, the Supreme Court decision that affirmed children’s right to counsel, and chart the course forward to protect children’s civil and due process rights in juvenile court. Learn more here.


Defend Children: A Blueprint for Effective Juvenile Defender Services

In November of 2016, we released a new report that proposes solutions to the ongoing crisis in juvenile defense, illustrates its disparate impact on historically oppressed communities, and highlights innovative and replicable programs across the country that are improving children’s access to justice. Learn more.


Trial Manual for Defense Attorneys in Juvenile Delinquency Cases

An updated version of Randy Hertz, Martin Guggenheim, and Anthony G. Amsterdam’s Trial Manual is now available.

Summit 2016

The 20th annual National Juvenile Defender Leadership Summit was held in Atlanta, GA from Oct. 28-30, 2016. Materials from the workshops and general sessions are now available.


Then Attorney General Loretta Lynch addressed the Summit via video to share her thoughts and appreciation for the important work of juvenile defense attorneys around the country.

Honoring Gault: Ensuring Access to Counsel in Delinquency Proceedings

In partnership with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, we released “Honoring Gault: Ensuring Access to Counsel in Delinquency Proceedings,” an information card to promote judicial leadership in fulfilling children’s constitutional right to representation in juvenile court.

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National Juvenile Defender Center 

NJDC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting justice for all children by ensuring excellence in juvenile defense. Through community building, training, and policy reform, we provide national leadership on juvenile defense issues with a focus on the deprivation of young people’s rights in the court system. Our reach extends to urban, suburban, rural, and tribal areas, where we elevate the voices of youth, families, and defenders to create positive case outcomes and meaningful opportunities for children. We also work with broad coalitions to ensure that the reform of juvenile courts includes the protection of children’s rights–particularly the right to counsel.

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Gault at 50 Campaign

In 1967, the Supreme Court affirmed in In re Gault that children have a constitutional right to an attorney in juvenile court. But, nearly 50 years later, the promise of Gault remains unfulfilled. Through a dual approach of public awareness and policy reform, NJDC’s Gault at 50 Campaign seeks to ensure that every child has access to skilled, high-quality legal representation. Sign the Statement of Principles and learn more on the campaign website.

A New Kind of Training

Developing a specialization in juvenile defense through new and innovative training programs that can be tailored for any jurisdiction.

JTIP Small Group

Read All About It

Check out NJDC’s array of free publications – infographics, issue briefs, and bench cards, among others – to share best-practices in juvenile defense and promote leadership and change at the local level.