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Defending Children:
The Gault at 50 Blog

Jan 26, 2017 - Washington, DC

In the Words of Dr. King

by National Juvenile Defender Center

Dear Colleagues: Fifty-four years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested and imprisoned in Birmingham, Alabama, for marching in violation of a sweeping circuit court injunction against parading, boycotting, and picketing. Dr. King’s actions were publicly condemned by white clergy leaders who called the civil rights demonstrations “unwise and untimely.” In the margins of his newspaper and on torn scraps of paper, Dr. King penned a response. Today, his words…

Jan 6, 2017 - Washington, DC

Happy New Year from the NJDC Board of Directors

by National Juvenile Defender Center

Dear Colleagues: As we enter the New Year poised to take on new challenges and build on our past successes, the National Juvenile Defender Center Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Mary Ann Scali has accepted our appointment as NJDC’s Executive Director.  Mary Ann has led the organization for several months as acting executive director, drawing upon her vast experience during her sixteen years as NJDC’s deputy director…

Jan 3, 2017 - Washington, DC

Mandatory Transfer of Juveniles to Adult Courts Found Unconstitutional in Ohio

by National Juvenile Defender Center

Dear Colleagues, On December 22, 2016, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that the mandatory transfer of juveniles to common pleas courts (i.e. adult criminal courts) violates juveniles’ right to due process as guaranteed by the Ohio Constitution. State v. Aalim. Matthew Aalim was represented by NJDC Consultant Amanda Powell, with amicus support from NJDC, Juvenile Law Center, and many others. Building on U.S. Supreme Court precedent The Court cited U.S. Supreme Court decisions…

Nov 23, 2016 -

“Every day let’s change the lives of children:” A Recap of the 20th Annual Juvenile Defender Leadership Summit

by National Juvenile Defender Center

Last month, the National Juvenile Defender Center hosted our 20th Annual Juvenile Defender Leadership Summit in Atlanta, Georgia. We brought together nearly 500 juvenile defenders — our largest group yet! — for three days of training, networking, and inspiration around our work to promote justice for all children by ensuring excellence in juvenile defense. Acting Executive Director Mary Ann Scali opened Summit with a call to action for attendees from nearly all 50…

Nov 23, 2016 - Washington, DC

Attorney General Loretta Lynch Delivers Remarks on Juvenile Defense

by National Juvenile Defender Center

At our 20th Annual Juvenile Defender Leadership Summit last month, Attorney General Loretta Lynch provided video remarks to express her appreciation for juvenile defenders and those on the front lines who are working to uphold children’s rights in court. She also affirmed her commitment — and that of the Department of Justice — to ensure access to counsel, and access to justice, for all children facing prosecution. Watch the Video or read the full transcript…

Nov 14, 2016 - Washington, DC

NJDC Releases New Report, Lays Out Roadmap to Fulfill Children’s Rights in Court

by National Juvenile Defender Center

Dear Friends, Today, the National Juvenile Defender Center released a new report on an open secret in America’s juvenile courts: children are routinely denied access to lawyers, or receive representation so inadequate that it provides little protection. Defend Children: A Blueprint for Effective Juvenile Defender Services details how children are arrested, prosecuted, and too often incarcerated without attorneys at their side. Youth, and disproportionately youth of color, are swept into…