Menu
© Joel Gordon Photography joelgordon.com
© Joel Gordon Photography
joelgordon.com
© Joel Gordon Photography
joelgordon.com
© Joel Gordon Photography joelgordon.com

50 Years of Gault

May 15, 2017, will mark the 50th anniversary of the landmark In re Gault Supreme Court decision. Join the National Juvenile Defender Center and its partners in commemorating Gault at 50 and championing children’s right to counsel.

© Joel Gordon Photography joelgordon.com

What is Gault?

In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1 (1967), was a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that ensured the right to a lawyer for children accused of crimes in juvenile court. The ruling also provided other due process rights, including the right to be notified of the charges, the right to cross-examine witnesses, and the right to not have to make a statement against oneself.

Countdown to 50

The In re Gault decision came down on May 15, 1967. In May of 2016 we launched a public awareness campaign leading up to the decision’s 50th anniversary in 2017 to ensure the promise of Gault is a reality for all children.

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.

1million

juvenile delinquency cases each year

31

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

21

states do not restrict shackling of children in juvenile court

33

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.

    No Results

View Events Archive

Media

    Vermont Public Radio
    Jun 14, 2017 - News Item

    Lahey: Due Process for Juveniles

    Fifty years on, many states continue to deny juveniles their right to counsel, either through legislation or in its implementation.
    SJDC
    May 24, 2017 - News Item

    Gault at 50: Conference to Offer Tips for ‘Front-Line’ Juvenile Lawyers

    You could call it the obscene phone call heard 'round the world. The May 1967 Supreme Court ruling that threw out Gerald Gault’s six-year commitment for lewd remarks over the telephone has led to half a century of juvenile justice reform.
    The Atlantic
    May 22, 2017 - News Item

    The Children Being Denied Due Process

    On June 8, 1964, Gerald Gault and Ronald Lewis were arrested when their neighbor, Mrs. Cook, alleged they had made a lewd phone call to her home. The police detained Gerald overnight and held a hearing the next day in the juvenile judge’s chambers.
View All Media