Challenging the Status Quo: Mobilizing Youth Defense Teams to Uphold Youth Rights & Uproot Injustice

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This Racial Justice Webinar was hosted by the Gault Center and Georgetown Law’s Juvenile Justice Clinic & Initiative on May 29, 2024. The webinar focused on a collective call to action for the youth defense community to transform the juvenile legal system by centering youth and their constitutional rights to freedom, liberty, and equality. This…

A Checklist to Assess the Presence of a Constitutional Violation under 34 U.S.C. 12601

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This checklist can be used to assess the presence of constitutional violations throughout the course of a client’s case. Please refer to the National Youth Defense Systems Standards and their accompanying User Guide for litigation strategies to challenge potential constitutional violations noted in this checklist.

National Youth Defense System Standards User Guide

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This User Guide provides advocates with a step-by-step outline of how to actualize the vision of the National Youth Defense System Standards to equip and invest in youth defense teams to fight for the liberation of all youth. The User Guide outlines constitutional rights detailed in the System Standards, provides a checklist to assess the…

Amicus Brief: In the Interest of D.C.M.

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Appeal from the Circuit Court of Pemiscot County, Division I Thirty-Fourth Judicial Circuit, Pemiscot County No. 18PE-JU00022 The Honorable W. Keith Currie, Judge

Statement of Interest in Hurrell-Harring

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Statement of Interest in Wilbur v. City of Mount Vernon

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State Settlement Agreement, U.S. v. Lauderdale

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City Settlement Agreement, U.S. v. Lauderdale

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Complaint, U.S. v. Lauderdale

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Memorandum of Agreement Regarding the Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County

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Why (Jury-Less) Juvenile Courts Are Unconstitutional

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Kids Will be Kids: Time for a “Reasonable Child” Standard for the Proof of Objective Mens Rea Elements

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Overmedication and Misdiagnoses Guide

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National Youth Defense System Standards

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Outlines steps that states must take to comply with the minimum requirements of the U.S. Constitution to protect the rights of youth facing deprivations of liberty.

In the Interest of J.A.T.

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In the Interest of C.A.R.A.

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Only Young Once: Alabama’s Overreliance on School Pushout and For-Profit Youth Incarceration 

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Due Process in the Time of COVID: Defenders as First Responders in a Juvenile Court System Struggling with the COVID-19 Pandemic

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In February and March 2020, as COVID-19 spread throughout the United States, NJDC recognized a crisis facing youth involved in the juvenile courts and the attorneys tasked with defending them. The contagious nature of COVID-19 and the public health protocols meant to mitigate transmission heightened risks to the health and wellbeing of youth entering the…

Honoring Gault: Ensuring Access to Counsel in Delinquency Proceedings

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Every jurisdiction is different and has different resources and laws governing whether children have access to counsel and at what stage in the proceedings. The recommendations that follow may be more difficult to implement in some jurisdictions than others. It is hoped that to the extent the recommendations cannot be fully implemented within your jurisdiction,…

DOJ Statement of Interest in N.P. v. Georgia

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Juvenile Defense Attorneys: A Critical Protection Against Injustice-The Importance of Skilled Juvenile Defenders to Upholding the Due Process Rights of Youth

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The defender’s unique challenge is to be the advocate—the voice—of the child. To meet this challenge, and to be able to offer the court the expressed interests of the child, the juvenile defender must master a diverse set of skills to uphold core ethical obligations and to help clients navigate the complexities of the justice…

Kent v. United States Opinion

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United States Department of Justice Investigation of the Shelby County Juvenile Court

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Findings Regarding Department of Justice Investigation of Lauderdale County Youth Court, Meridian Police Department, and Mississippi Division of Youth Services

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Navigating Virtual Proceedings in Juvenile Court: A Guide for Judges

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Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, juvenile courts across the country have adopted video and teleconferencing to conduct virtual hearings. Although initially embraced as an emergency measure, virtual proceedings continue to be utilized even as jurisdictions increasingly lift restrictions on in-person hearings. This new “hybrid” model is being heralded as a groundbreaking way to…