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State Profiles

States and territories across the United States use a patchwork of statutes and practices to govern children’s access to counsel in juvenile court. No two jurisdictions are the same. The Gault at 50 Campaign seeks to build a clearinghouse for state-specific information about events, resources, legislative updates, and juvenile defense tools to educate defenders and state residents about children’s right to counsel.

If you’re interested in creating a state profile, please email sedwards@njdc.info.

Find Your State

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.

  • Dec 1, 2017 - Highland Heights, Kentucky

    In re Gault: 50 Years & Beyond

    Join us at the Chase College of Law Symposium as we celebrate and review the history of In re Gault, decided 50 years ago, which held that children are individuals who possess their own constitutional rights.
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.
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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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