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Campaign Toolkit

Juvenile defenders live the promise of Gault every day. But far too many people in America are unaware that in our system of “justice,” children are often denied their constitutional right to an attorney in juvenile court.

Gault at 50 is a public awareness campaign: we are building a coalition of Gault ambassadors, both within the juvenile justice field and outside of it, to demand justice for youth and bring the issue of children’s indigent defense into the national dialogue around juvenile justice reform, civil rights, and racial justice.

The purpose of the Campaign Toolkit is to provide a roadmap for localizing the Gault campaign and the issue of children’s access to counsel. It includes resources such as social media messaging, a sample press release, and a sample outreach email to encourage partners to sign onto the Statement of Principles. Spread the word on Gault in your town or state: it’s time to fulfill the promise!

View the toolkit.


Questions or Thoughts?

Press and Media Inquiries:
Sarah Edwards
Development and Communications Manager

Campaign Inquiries:
Christina Gilbert
Staff Attorney and Policy Counsel

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.

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    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.
    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.
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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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