National Juvenile Defender Center
Groups Urge Justice Department to Reinstate Obama Stance on Juvenile Fines, Fees
Groups are urging the Biden administration to discourage states from charging fees and fines to incarcerated juveniles, saying they unfairly load debt on low-income youth and their families.
Calls to Release Youth from Lockups Due to Virus Threat Grow Nationwide
With most free residents across the United States keeping at least six feet apart, feverishly washing their hands and avoiding any social groups, 43,000 young people in juvenile lockups and prisons are living in coronavirus petri dishes that have become “brewing reservoirs” of infection, according to inmates and juvenile justice experts.
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.
In Both Systems, Unfulfilled Promises on Protecting Kids in Court
Fifty years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court provided a blanket of protection against railroading youth involved in the juvenile justice system. Seven years later, Congress attempted to do the same for children involved in child welfare proceedings.
After Gault, Ideas About How to Protect Children’s Right to Counsel
15-year-old Arizona boy Gerald Francis Gault was taken into custody for allegedly making an obscene prank phone call to a neighbor in June 1964. His parents were not notified of his arrest.
Report Offers Blueprint for Building Better Juvenile Representation System
Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s In re Gault decision that established the right of children to counsel in juvenile court. In opening the way for a system of legal representation for youth in the juvenile justice system, the court famously declared that “[u]nder our Constitution, the condition of being a boy does not justify a kangaroo court.”
Colorado: An Assessment of Access to Counsel and Quality of Representation in Juvenile Delinquency Proceedings
The National Juvenile Defender Center assessed, and then slammed, Colorado’s system for providing legal defense to juveniles. This quote sums it up: “It is not that people willfully work against the system; there is just no concerted effort to work for it.”