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Sign on: Statement of Principles

Fifty years ago the United States Supreme Court said that children have fundamental rights in America’s courtrooms. In the nearly five decades since then, the promise of Gault has not been realized. It is time to fulfill that promise. Justice demands that all children in juvenile court have meaningful access to qualified counsel.

The Gault at 50 Campaign seeks to ensure that every child has an effective attorney in America’s juvenile courts.

Therefore, we believe:

  • Every child should be provided a juvenile defense attorney at the earliest possible moment.
  • Every child should be automatically eligible for a publicly funded juvenile defense attorney.
  • A child’s juvenile defense attorney should represent the child throughout the time the child is under the jurisdiction or supervision of the juvenile justice system, from arrest through post-disposition, which may include incarceration, probation, and/or parole, related appeals, and reentry.
  • Every juvenile defense attorney must receive specialized training and support to be an effective advocate for children.
  • Publicly funded defense systems must provide the necessary training, leadership, funding, tools, and resources to develop juvenile defenders with specialized knowledge and expertise.

Do you stand for children's rights?

Please fill out this form to endorse the Statement of Principles

I'm signing on behalf of
 Self Organization

Thank you for standing up for children's right to counsel.

If you have any questions, please contact Sarah Edwards at


  • Abigail Hefflinger, Ohio
  • ACLU of Delaware
  • ACLU of Kentucky
  • ACLU of Nebraska Foundation, Inc.
  • ACLU of Ohio
  • Adam Pinson, Alabama
  • Alarice Brown, Florida
  • Alberto Berrones, Indiana
  • Alessandra Pacchieri, California
  • Alison McGonigal, Delaware
  • Allen Demkovich, Indiana
  • Amanda Blackketter, Indiana
  • Amanda Powell, Ohio
  • Amber Nave, Georgia
  • Amy Halbrook, Ohio
  • Amy Rogers, California
  • Andrea Smith, Alabama
  • Andrew Eads, Indiana
  • Andrew Potter, South Carolina
  • Angela Chang, Ohio
  • Angela Heimes, Nebraska
  • Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Annie Fierek, Indiana
  • Arianna Crum, Nebraska
  • Ashley K. Spahn, Nebraska
  • Barbara Prince, Nebraska
  • Bartholomew County Juvenile Court
  • Barton Child Law and Policy Center, Emory Law School
  • Bernardine Dohrn, Illinois
  • Bonnie Adams, Indiana
  • Bonnie Barnett, Alabama
  • Brandon Pierre-Thomas, Georgia
  • Brian Williams, Indiana
  • Bryan Barrett, Indiana
  • Bryan Keith Fair, Alabama
  • Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth
  • Campaign for Youth Justice
  • Carolina Melinda Suazo, Florida
  • Casey McGowan, Georgia
  • Catherine Brooks, Nebraska
  • Catherine Eke, Indiana
  • Center for Children, Law & Policy at University of Houston Law Center
  • Center for Children’s Law and Policy
  • Cheryl Quick, Georgia
  • Child Protection and Advocacy Section, State Bar of Georgia
  • Children and Family Justice Center at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
  • Children’s Law Center
  • Children’s Policy and Law Initiative of Indiana
  • Christa Cook, Indiana
  • Christina Kleiser, Tennessee
  • Christine Bochenek, Ohio
  • Christine Henningsen, Nebraska
  • Christopher Neff, Alabama
  • Claudia Dunne, Massachusetts
  • Coalition for Juvenile Justice
  • Colette Tvedt, District of Columbia
  • Colorado Juvenile Defender Center
  • Colorado Office of Alternate Defense Counsel
  • Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance
  • Constitution Project, The
  • Council for Children’s Rights
  • Crosby Modrowski, Utah
  • Daniel C. Schroeder, Indiana
  • Daniel M. Margolis, Ohio
  • Darrell Felling, Indiana
  • Darrell Felling II, Indiana
  • David Butsch, Indiana
  • David Shapiro, Maryland
  • Davidson County Juvenile Court, TN
  • DC Law Students in Court
  • DC Lawyers for Youth
  • Deana Holiday Ingraham, Georgia
  • Debbie N Jones, Alabama
  • Deborah Markisohn, Indiana
  • Deborah Shepler, Indiana
  • Defender Association of Philadelphia
  • Delaware Office of Defense Services
  • Della Swincher, Indiana
  • Diane DePietropaolo Price, District of Columbia
  • Donald Worly, Ohio
  • Drew Kukorowski, North Carolina
  • Elaine Robbins, North Carolina
  • Elizabeth Calvin, California
  • Elizabeth Fraser May, Georgia
  • Eric Zogry, North Carolina
  • Erika C. Stallworth, Indiana
  • Erin Enderle, Ohio
  • Ethan Bartanen, Indiana
  • Evelyne Kay White, Georgia
  • Florine Alexander, New Jersey
  • Franklin County (Columbus) Ohio Public Defender
  • Gayle B. Murray, Georgia
  • Gustavo Heudebert, Alabama
  • Hamilton County Public Defender
  • Harold Amstutz, Indiana
  • Heimes Law, P.C., L.L.O.
  • Hope Fey, Indiana
  • Indiana Public Defender Council
  • Institute for Compassion in Justice
  • Interfaith Children’s Movement
  • Jacob Tulman, Indiana
  • James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy
  • James Crum, Indiana
  • James Detamore, Indiana
  • James Hingeley, Virginia
  • James Tucker, Alabama
  • Jameson Rogers, Georgia
  • Jane Conley, Indiana
  • Jane Dansie, Georgia
  • Jane McNeil, Nebraska
  • Jasmine Whitworth Giles, Alabama
  • Jay Lee, Indiana
  • Jeff Little, Indiana
  • Jeffrey Boggess, Indiana
  • Jeffrey Wright, Indiana
  • Jennifer Barnes, Georgia
  • Jennifer L. Branch, Ohio
  • Jenny Egan, Maryland
  • Jeri Shepherd, Colorado
  • Jessica Gingold, District of Columbia
  • Jessica Moeller, Wisconsin
  • Jessica Ulm, Indiana
  • Jessie Cook, Indiana
  • Jimmine Haigler, Georgia
  • John D. Pincura III, Ohio
  • John Elmore, Indiana
  • John England, Indiana
  • John DePrez IV, Indiana
  • John Dorenbusch, Indiana
  • Jonathan Laba, California
  • Joseph Eddingfield, Indiana
  • Joy Suder, Nebraska
  • Judith A. Wells, Nebraska
  • Julie Fisher, Georgia
  • Julie Frank, Nebraska
  • Justice for Children Project, Moritz College of Law
  • Justice for Families
  • Justice Policy Institute
  • Justice Programs Office, American University
  • Juvenile Justice Coalition
  • Juvenile Justice Initiative of Illinois
  • Juvenile Law Center
  • Karen Wrenbeck, Indiana
  • Kate Shelby, Indiana
  • Katherine Flowers, Alabama
  • Kathryn Banks, Missouri
  • Kaytie Tobias, Georgia
  • Kelly Kelly, Indiana
  • Kendall Krajicek, Nebraska
  • Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy
  • Kevin Likes, Indiana
  • Kim Tandy, Indiana
  • Kimberly Jordan, South Carolina
  • Kirsten Widner, Georgia
  • Knox County Public Defender’s Community Law Office
  • Kristen Phair, Indiana
  • Kristen Powers, North Carolina
  • Kristin Eichel, Indiana
  • Lake County Public Defenders
  • Lancaster County Public Defender’s Office
  • Laura Sindell, Washington
  • Lauren Litton, Ohio
  • Laurie Sansbury, Tennessee
  • Leah Winsberg, Ohio
  • Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio LLC
  • Letha Pugh, Ohio
  • Liisi Brien, Indiana
  • Linda Campbell, California
  • Linda Nicholson, Indiana
  • Lisa Geis, Tennessee
  • Lisa Johnson, Indiana
  • Lisa Kort-Butler, Nebraska
  • Liz Houdek, Indiana
  • Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights
  • Louisiana Public Defender Board
  • LuAnn Ritsema, North Carolina
  • Lucybel Mendez, Utah
  • Lyle Jones, Tennessee
  • Mara Shulman, Massachusetts
  • Marcell Johnson, Georgia
  • Maria Baldini-Potermin, Illinois
  • Mark Delgado, Indiana
  • Mark James, Indiana
  • Mark Laterzo, Indiana
  • Mark Stephens, Tennessee
  • Markie Campbell, Alabama
  • Maryland Office of the Public Defender
  • Matthew Castleberry, Alabama
  • Maureen Keefe, Indiana
  • Megan McDaniel, Alabama
  • Melissa Ruggiero, Pennsylvania
  • Metro Nashville Public Defender’s Office
  • Miami-Dade County Public Defender
  • Michael O. Finnigan, Ohio
  • Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency
  • Migrant and Immigrant Community Action Project
  • Montgomery County Public Defender
  • Naomi Fuller-Brown, Ohio
  • National Association for Public Defense
  • National Center for Lesbian Rights
  • National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
  • National Juvenile Justice Network
  • National Legal Aid & Defender Association
  • National LGBTQ Task Force
  • Nebraska Center on Children, Families, and the Law
  • Nebraska Criminal Defense Attorneys Association
  • Nebraska Youth Advocates
  • New Jersey State Office of the Public Defender
  • New York Civil Liberties Union
  • Northeast Juvenile Defender Center
  • Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel
  • Office of the Ohio Public Defender
  • Open City Advocates
  • Operation Youth Success
  • Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • Pacific Juvenile Defender Center
  • Pamela A. Marsh, Vermont
  • Pamela Siddons, Indiana
  • Patricia Lee, California
  • The Honorable Patrick McDermott, Nebraska
  • Patrick Ragains, Indiana
  • Patty Harris, Alabama
  • Paula Gardner, Alabama
  • Peter E. Leone, Maryland
  • Pima County Public Defender’s Office
  • Porscha Marie Guillot, California
  • Rachel Johnson
  • Rachel Pinson, Alabama
  • Rachel Roman-Lagunas, Indiana
  • Rachel Smith, Nebraska
  • Randee J. Waldman, Georgia
  • Randell Sorrell, Indiana
  • Ray Cassanova, Indiana
  • Rhode Island Office of the Public Defender
  • Richard Denning, Indiana
  • Richard Pittman, Louisiana
  • Richard A. Waller, Jr., Georgia
  • Rob Robinson, Tennessee
  • Rory Rank, New Mexico
  • Rose-Marie Archibald-Atohi, Florida
  • Rutgers Criminal and Youth Justice Clinic
  • Rutgers Children’s Justice Clinic
  • Ruthellen Weaver, Ohio
  • Ryan Dillon, Indiana
  • Sam Zeleski, Nebraska
  • San Francisco Public Defender’s Office
  • Santa Clara County Office of the Public Defender
  • Sarah Edwards, District of Columbia
  • Scarlett Skelton, California
  • Schubert Center for Child Studies
  • Sentencing Project
  • Shasta County Public Defender’s Office
  • Shelly McBride, Indiana
  • Sirena Saunders, Alabama
  • Sister Margaret Hartman, Ohio
  • Sixth Amendment Center
  • Sonia Slone, Maryland
  • Sonny Reisz, Indiana
  • Sophia Arshad, Indiana
  • Southern Center for Human Rights
  • Southern Juvenile Defender Center
  • Southwest Key Programs
  • Stephen R. Stinson, Illinois
  • Steven Carlson
  • Strategies for Youth, Inc.
  • Sue Burrell, California
  • Susan K. Campbell, North Carolina
  • Susan Liang, Hawaii
  • Tala Amirfazli, Georgia
  • Tamara Mosby-Montegut, Nebraska
  • TeamChild
  • Texas Appleseed
  • Todd Whitehurst, Indiana
  • Tom Little, Indiana
  • Trent Thompson, Indiana
  • Trent Wetta, Kansas
  • Tyler Brant, Indiana
  • Urban Justice Center
  • Urban Youth Justice
  • Utah Juvenile Defender Attorneys LLC
  • Valerie Boots, Indiana
  • Vickie Yaser, Indiana
  • Voices for Children in Nebraska
  • Washington Defender Association
  • William Berkshire, Indiana
  • William J. Moore, Alabama
  • Youth First!
  • Youth, Rights & Justice
  • Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project
  • Zachary Baber, Indiana
  • Zaki Ali, Indiana

In re Gault was a giant step forward for the rights of children. Yet, due to inconsistent enforcement and lack of awareness, the due process rights of our children in delinquency court are not protected. We’ve come a long way, but we have a long way to go.


juvenile delinquency cases each year


states have no laws saying how young is too young to prosecute a child


states do not restrict shackling of children in juvenile court


states do not allow jury trials in juvenile court

Upcoming Events

The National Juvenile Defender Center and its allies and partners will be commemorating the Gault decision in the run up to the 50th anniversary. Find an event below.

  • Apr 20, 2017 - Denver, Colorado

    Gault at 50: What Difference Does a Lawyer Make?

    Join the Colorado Juvenile Defender Center, Colorado Office of the Public Defender, Colorado Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel & Colorado Office of the Child’s Representative for a free symposium addressing the current state of access to qualified counsel.
  • Apr 21, 2017 - Memphis, Tennessee

    In re Gault: Inspiration & Aspiration

    Statewide symposium and JTIP training in Tennessee examining the legacy of In re Gault.
  • Apr 21, 2017 - Denver, Colorado

    5th Annual Excellence in Juvenile Defense Conference

    Join us for a full day of CLE credits! Topics include defending juveniles in sex offense cases, addressing trauma and language disabilities, effective oral advocacy, ethics, and so much more! Hosted by CJDC and ADC.
  • Apr 21, 2017 - Houston, Texas

    Southwest Juvenile Defender Center’s 16th Annual Zealous Advocacy Conference: Gault @ 50

    The Southwest Juvenile Defender Center is hosting its 16th Annual Zealous Advocacy Conference: Gault @ 50 on April 21 and 22, 2017, at the University of Houston Law School.
  • Apr 23, 2017 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Gault at 50 Discussion

    On Sunday, April 23, 2017, at 11 am, Professor Sandra Simkins, Director and Co-founder of the Children's Justice Clinic at Rutgers School of Law, is giving a talk, "Gault at 50," at the Philadelphia Ethical Society.
  • Apr 29, 2017 - Los Angeles, California

    35th Annual Juvenile Delinquency Law Training Seminar in Los Angeles

    Join the Los Angeles County Public Defender's Office, Juvenile Division, for its annual training in juvenile defense. Topics include adolescent development, raising race, and effectively working with experts. More info to come!
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About NJDC

At the National Juvenile Defender Center, we promote justice for all children by ensuring excellence in juvenile defense. NJDC was founded to guarantee every child facing prosecution in juvenile court is represented by an attorney who is specialized and trained to defend children.

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