Preventing California from Overcharging Youths into Adult Court

California has taken dramatic steps over the past several years to reduce the transfer of juveniles into adult court system, ensuring that more young people accused of crimes can benefit from rehabilitation in the juvenile system.


Why The Washington State Supreme Court Got It Wrong on Lawyers for Kids

Over the past year, there has been increased attention on the right to legal representation for children who have been separated from their families at our borders. Images and stories of young children attending court hearings alone, without an attorney, have been shared by media outlets all over the world.


California Supreme Court: Law Barring Direct File of Juveniles Is Retroactive

The California Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that a recent ballot initiative aimed at preventing the transfer of juveniles into the adult justice system could be applied retroactively to pending court cases.


After 15 years in Prison, Freedom for California Man After Judge Overturns Shaken Baby Conviction

After 15 years in prison, Sacramento man Zavion Johnson walked free on Saturday after a judge agreed to turn back a murder conviction for shaking his 4-month-old daughter Nadia to death in 2002.


A Resource for Judges Who Handle ICWA Cases

A new resource from the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) aims to help judges uphold the rights of Native American children in juvenile court. The “Indian Child Welfare Act Judicial Benchbook” is designed to assist judges implement the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), a series of guidelines on the cases of child abuse and neglect and adoption cases involving Native American children.


Kentucky Case Could Mean More Support for Kin Caregivers

Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from the state of Kentucky in a case about kinship care that may have long-term impact across the United States.


    Foster Youth Deserve the Right to Speak for Themselves in Court

    As a youth in foster care, I am used to major decisions about me being made in my absence. Countless times, I was not made aware of my court dates, where my future would be decided.


    Report Finds Quality of Juvenile Representation in Delaware Troubling

    A recent report released by the National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) outlines areas of concern for the legal representation provided to youth in Delaware. Released last week, An Assessment of Access to Counsel and Quality of Representation in Juvenile Delinquency Proceedings identifies systemic barriers limiting quality and access to juvenile defense services, and determines there is an urgent need for specialized lawyers to represent juveniles.

    NCYL Leader Jesse Hahnel Steps Down


    Hahnel Succeeds O’Toole at NCYL

    The National Center for Youth Law hired from within its ranks to replace its longtime leader, John O’Toole, who retired this summer after 35 years. Jesse Hahnel took the helm as NCYL‘s fifth executive director in its 45-year history.