Campaign Against Indiscriminate Juvenile Shackling


The Campaign Against Indiscriminate Juvenile Shackling (CAIJS) is a national organizing campaign seeking the end of the automatic shackling of children in delinquency court. The indiscriminate shackling of youth unnecessarily humiliates, stigmatizes, and traumatizes them. The practice impedes the attorney-client relationship, chills juveniles’ constitutional right to due process, runs counter to the presumption of innocence, and draws into question the rehabilitative ideals of the juvenile court. CAIJS works with advocates, judges, members of the media, and medical professionals in states across the country to both educate stakeholders on the harms of shackling young people, and promote laws, regulations, and court orders prohibiting the shackling of young people during juvenile proceedings unless the judge makes an affirmative finding that the specific child is a danger in the courtroom or a flight risk. CAIJS works with state-based advocates (public defenders, medical and mental health professionals, judges, and others) in more than 30 states and territories. CAIJS provides training and technical assistance to attorneys and advocates, research support for reforms, organizes and strategizes with state-based campaigns, develops and educates on legislative and court rule language, and fosters local and national discussions on the issue of juvenile shackling. To date, these efforts have secured nine professional affidavits extolling the psychological impact of shackling children, several major organizational resolutions condemning the indiscriminate use of shackling, participation in national conferences, and increased media awareness and attention to the issue.

As of September 1, 2019, 32 states including the District of Columbia have rules, statutes, or administrative orders prohibiting or limiting the indiscriminate shackling of youth. What does shackling look like in your jurisdiction? Please fill out this survey and email the results to



 Policy Statements & Position Papers:

National Organizations Oppose Indiscriminate Juvenile Shackling

Contact Christina Gilbert to learn more about the Campaign Against Indiscriminate Juvenile Shackling.

You can also learn more about the shackling practices that are hurting youth and communities across the country by visiting NJDC’s shackling page.

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