MJDC held its 2018 Summit in Ann Arbor, MI on July 26 & 27.  Thank you to the University of Michigan Juvenile Justice Clinic for hosting.  There were great presentations from the Youth Arts Alliance and Ozone House.


The Midwest Juvenile Defender Center (MJDC) is one of  nine regional centers of the National Juvenile Defender Center. MJDC focuses on juvenile defense issues in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. MJDC’s goal is to provide juvenile defenders the opportunity to improve advocacy skills, build partnerships, exchange information, and affect positive change in the juvenile justice system.

Links to NJDC’s Midwestern State Profiles

Illlinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin

Legislation and Litigation in the Midwest

Michigan and Wisconsin are the only two Midwestern states that treat 17 year olds as adults in the justice system.  You can read a report from Michigan on the impact of prosecuting kids as adults and see Wisconsin’s Raise the Age bill and resources and information on the attempts to raise the age there. Pending Legislation     Current Litigation The Wisconsin Supreme Court is considering whether an error in failing to record a portion of the custodial interrogation of a juvenile requires exclusion of the statements that were recorded.  Here are the briefs, including an amicus brief from the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth.  Oral argument was held on September 23, 2014. The Minnesota Supreme Court held last year in Chambers v. State that Miller is not retroactive.  That case, along with three others, is on appeal in the 8th Circuit.  See our news page for information about the Chambers case.

What’s New………………..

The MJDC held its annual Summit in Ann Arbor, MI on July 26 & 27.  If you weren’t able to attend, you can review the materials here! Illinois has created a Juvenile Defender Resource Center.  It has been in the works for almost a decade, and will be up and running soon.  Stay tuned! Shackling is still on the radar in the Midwest.  We’re working on ending it, though! Check out our resources page for more general information on shackling. In April, a new report called Detention of Juveniles in Illinois was put out by Betsy Clarke’s agency, the Juvenile Justice Initiative.  It’s definitely worth reading! A study out of Michigan: Youth Behind Bars makes recommendations to reduce the number of young people exposed to the adult criminal justice system