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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, Racial Justice Program
  • ACLU of Arkansas
  • ACLU of Colorado
  • ACLU of Delaware
  • ACLU of Hawaiʻi
  • ACLU of Kansas
  • ACLU of Kentucky
  • ACLU of Maine
  • ACLU of Nebraska Foundation, Inc.
  • ACLU of North Carolina
  • ACLU of Northern California
  • ACLU of Ohio
  • ACLU of Oklahoma Foundation
  • ACLU of South Carolina
  • ACLU of Tennessee
  • ACLU of Utah
  • ACLU of Washington
  • ACLU of West Virginia
  • Adam Pinson, Alabama
  • Alana Lewis, Texas
  • Alarice Brown, Florida
  • Alberto Berrones, Indiana
  • Alessandra Pacchieri, California
  • Alexander Ignatiev, Mississippi
  • Alexander Kassoff, Mississippi
  • Alison McGonigal, Delaware
  • Allen Demkovich, Indiana
  • Amanda Alkema, Utah
  • Amanda Blackketter, Indiana
  • Amanda Powell, Ohio
  • Amber Mahan, Ohio
  • Amber Nave, Georgia
  • Amy Halbrook, Ohio
  • Amy Rogers, California
  • Amy Turkel, Florida
  • Andrea Smith, Alabama
  • Andres F. Wallace, Mississippi
  • Andrew Eads, Indiana
  • Andrew Potter, South Carolina
  • Angela Chang, Ohio
  • Angela Heimes, Nebraska
  • Annie Carney, New York
  • Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Annie Fierek, Indiana
  • Arianna Crum, Nebraska
  • Ashley Elizabeth Beall, North Dakota
  • 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
  • Brittney Nystrom, Utah
  • Bryan Barrett, Indiana
  • Bryan Keith Fair, Alabama
  • Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth
  • Campaign for Youth Justice
  • Candis N. White, Tennessee
  • Carolina Melinda Suazo, Florida
  • Caroline Cooper, Maryland
  • Carolyn J. Boylan, North Carolina
  • Casey McGowan, Georgia
  • Catherine Brooks, Nebraska
  • Catherine Eke, Indiana
  • Catherine E. Thompson, North Carolina
  • Celena Angstead, Arizona
  • Center for Children, Law & Policy at University of Houston Law Center
  • Center for Children’s Advocacy
  • Center for Children’s Law and Policy
  • Central Juvenile Defender Center
  • Cheryl Quick, Georgia
  • Cheryl Sobeski-Reedy, Pennsylvania
  • 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
  • Chris Phillis, Texas
  • Chrissy Clarke, North Carolina
  • 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
  • Dale Munoz, Utah
  • Dana Weissman, New York
  • Daniel C. Schroeder, Indiana
  • Daniel M. Margolis, Ohio
  • Danielle Lipow, Maryland
  • 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 Fowler, Texas
  • Deborah Markisohn, Indiana
  • Deborah Shepler, Indiana
  • Defender Association of Philadelphia
  • Delaware Office of Defense Services
  • Della Swincher, Indiana
  • Devon Lee, Wisconsin
  • Diane DePietropaolo Price, District of Columbia
  • Dixie Jackson, Utah
  • Donald Worly, Ohio
  • Drew Kukorowski, North Carolina
  • Elaine Robbins, North Carolina
  • Elizabeth Calvin, California
  • Elizabeth Fraser May, Georgia
  • Ellen Marrus, Texas
  • Emily S. Antolik, Pennsylvania
  • 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
  • Gerard Glynn, Florida
  • Gustavo Heudebert, Alabama
  • Hamilton County Public Defender
  • Harold Amstutz, Indiana
  • Heimes Law, P.C., L.L.O.
  • Hope Fey, Indiana
  • Iman Abid, New York
  • 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
  • Jo Ivester, Texas
  • 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
  • Kelley Jones, Nevada
  • Kelly Engquist, Nebraska
  • Kelly Kelly, Indiana
  • Ken Schmetterer, Illinois
  • Kendall Krajicek, Nebraska
  • Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy
  • Kevin Likes, Indiana
  • Kevin R. Rardin, Tennessee
  • Kim Tandy, Indiana
  • Kimberly Jordan, South Carolina
  • Kirsten Widner, Georgia
  • Kisha Petticolas, Maryland
  • Knox County Public Defender’s Community Law Office
  • Kristen Phair, Indiana
  • Kristen Powers, North Carolina
  • Kristin Eichel, Indiana
  • Krystia Reed, Nebraska
  • Lake County Public Defenders
  • Lancaster County Public Defender’s Office
  • LaNita L. McWilliams, Maryland
  • Laura Sindell, Washington
  • Lauren Litton, Ohio
  • Lauren Neely, Texas
  • 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
  • Lisa Queen, Arizona
  • 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
  • Maria Lund, North Carolina
  • Mark Delgado, Indiana
  • Mark James, Indiana
  • Mark Laterzo, Indiana
  • Mark Stephens, Tennessee
  • Markie Campbell, Alabama
  • Maryland Office of the Public Defender
  • Matt Ormiston, Virginia
  • 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
  • Mid-Atlantic Juvenile Defender Center
  • Midwest Juvenile Defender Center
  • Migrant and Immigrant Community Action Project
  • Monica Diaz Greene, Utah
  • Montgomery County Public Defender
  • Naomi Fuller-Brown, Ohio
  • National Association for Public Defense
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • 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 England Juvenile Defender Center
  • 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
  • Patrick J. Colvario, Massachusetts
  • The Honorable Patrick McDermott, Nebraska
  • Pacific Juvenile Defender Center
  • 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
  • Renee Berry, Mississippi
  • Rhode Island Office of the Public Defender
  • Richard Denning, Indiana
  • Richard Pittman, Louisiana
  • Richard Simon, Pennsylvania
  • Richard A. Waller, Jr., Georgia
  • Rob Robinson, Tennessee
  • Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice
  • Rochelle Rubin, New York
  • Ronni Solbert, Vermont
  • 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
  • Sara Holderness, North Carolina
  • Sarah Edwards, District of Columbia
  • Scarlett Skelton, California
  • Schubert Center for Child Studies
  • Sentencing Project
  • Shana Knizhnik, District of Columbia
  • 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 Juvenile Defender Center
  • Southwest Key Programs
  • Stacie Colling, Colorado
  • Stephanie L. Russell, Tennessee
  • Stephen R. Stinson, Illinois
  • Steven Carlson
  • Strategies for Youth, Inc.
  • Sue Burrell, California
  • Susan K. Campbell, North Carolina
  • Susan Kelly, Arizona
  • Susan Liang, Hawaii
  • Susan Sundberg, Minnesota
  • Susan Taylor, Mississippi
  • Tala Amirfazli, Georgia
  • Tamara Mosby-Montegut, Nebraska
  • TeamChild
  • Texas Appleseed
  • Todd Whitehurst, Indiana
  • Thomas Scali, Florida
  • 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
  • Victoria Weisz, District of Columbia
  • Voices for Children in Nebraska
  • Washington Defender Association
  • Western Juvenile Defender Center
  • 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.

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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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