Our Work

“The child ‘requires the guiding hand of counsel at every step in the proceedings against him.’”

In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1, 18 (1967)

The National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) provides national leadership on juvenile indigent defense and due process deprivations that young people face in the delinquency system by providing training, technical assistance, policy development, community-building, leadership opportunities, legislative advocacy, litigation support, and research.

NJDC’s work responds to the urgent need to improve the quality of juvenile defense by simultaneously building the capacity of the juvenile defense bar and engaging in concrete systemic reform—striking at both the practice and policy levels. NJDC operates as an independent, mission driven, non-partisan, non-profit organization. Since our inception, NJDC has proven that with dedication and intention we can stimulate tremendous growth and innovation within the juvenile defense community.