Former Attorney General
at the Juvenile
NJDC in the News
- Oregon Senate Votes to Ban Shackled Juveniles in Court, KTVZ (4/4/17)
- Lawsuit Says Missouri Public Defender System Faces ‘Urgent Constitutional Crisis’, KCUR (3/14/17)
- The Impressive Top-to-Bottom Makeover of the Massachusetts Juvenile Justice System, NationSwell (2/8/17)
- Some Juvenile Defendants Still Denied Justice Through Lack of Counsel, The Washington Post, written by Assistant Attorney General Karol Mason and Director of the Department of Justice Office for Access to Justice, Lisa Foster (12/20/16)
- Report Offers Blueprint for Building Better Juvenile Representation System, The Chronicle of Social Change (11/23/16)
- Youth Lack Access to Quality Defense Attorneys, JJIE (11/15/16)
- Juveniles Lack Legal Advice; Often Urged to Plead Guilty, NPR (11/14/16)
- When a Sibling Goes to Prison, The Atlantic (11/14/16)
- Illinois Joins State Bans on Judges Routinely Shackling Kids, Herald and Review (10/6/16)
- 50 Years After Gault—The Juvenile Justice System is Still Failing Our Children, Medium (9/13/16)
For more news, visit NJDC in the News.
The Juvenile Committee of the National Association for Public Defense 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.
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.
Access Denied: A National Snapshot of States’ Failure to Protect Children’s Right to Counsel
Released on the 50th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision In re Gault, NJDC’s new report reveals that nearly every state falls short of its constitutional obligation to provide effective lawyers for youth. Based on statutory analysis and interviews with juvenile defenders in every state, the Snapshot exposes gaps in procedural protections for children — gaps that perpetuate the over-criminalization of youth, racial and economic disparities, and the fracturing of families and communities. Learn more here.
Defend Children: A Blueprint for Effective Juvenile Defender Services
In November of 2016, NJDC released a 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.
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.
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.
Search Our National Database
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.
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.