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…

A Tale of Two Systems: An Assessment of Access to & Quality of Youth Defense Counsel in Utah

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The Utah assessment is the 29th statewide assessment of youth defense delivery systems the Gault Center has conducted. These assessments gather information and data about the structure and funding of defense systems and examine whether youth receive counsel at all critical stages, the timing of appointments, waiver of counsel, youth defense resource allocation, supervision and…

A Call to Expand Post-Disposition Representation of Youth in the Juvenile Legal System

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In 2020, after the District of Columbia Court of Appeals released its decision in In re N.H.M., expanding DC youths’ access to post-disposition counsel, Open City Advocates, which represented N.H.M., contacted the Gault Center to explore how to support the expansion of post-disposition representation in other jurisdictions. We reviewed analyses of post-disposition representation of youth,…

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

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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.

Special Caution Required: The Realities of Youth Interrogation

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A fact sheet highlighting the need for young people to have counsel during interrogation.

San Francisco Youth Interrogation Ordinance

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Defend Children Executive Summary: A Blueprint for Effective Juvenile Defender Services

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An infographic outlining steps towards a more effective juvenile defense system.

Access Denied: A National Snapshot of States’ Failure to Protect Children’s Right to Counsel

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The Snapshot is based on a state-by-state analysis of the statutes that govern children’s access to counsel and interviews with juvenile defenders about how statutes and court rules translate into practice. The interviews were conducted with attorneys in urban and rural areas to explore differences in practices and resources. In total, 70 interviews were completed…

Commemorating Gault at 50

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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.

Gault at 50 Campaign Toolkit

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Fifty years ago, the United States Supreme Court afforded children fundamental rights in America’s courtrooms. In the nearly five decades since then, the promise of Gault has not been realized. It’s time to fulfill that promise. Justice demands that all children in juvenile court have meaningful access to qualified counsel. As part of our Gault…

Illinois v. Austin M. Opinion

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

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In re Sherri Jefferson Amicus Brief

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In the Matter of William M. Amicus Brief

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E.C. v. Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice Amicus Brief

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In re M.W. Amicus Brief

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Illinois v. Austin M. Amicus Brief

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Cause of Action

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Creates a case for holding states liable for abdicating their duty to ensure that all children have zealous representation.

Defend Children: A Blueprint for Effective Juvenile Defender Services

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Provides a framework for developing effective youth defense systems.