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…

Reimagining Public Safety: Community Listening Sessions with Black Communities and Public Defenders

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This report is the product of a one-year project to hear directly from Black communities about what safety means to them. The Black Public Defender Association, in partnership with the BlackRoots Alliance, Cook County Public Defender, and Northwestern University, conducted more than 100 interviews of Black residents in Chicago to collect their stories and advice…

Equitable Defense: Holistic Defense for Court-Appointed Counsel Cases

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This position paper reviews the research on disparities in justice system outcomes based on whether a person is represented by a public defender or by court-appointed private counsel finding that court-appointed counsel achieve less favorable outcomes due largely to differences in compensation and resources available to them. The paper also reviews the literature on the…

Statement of Interest in Hurrell-Harring

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Statement of Interest in Wilbur v. City of Mount Vernon

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

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National Public Defense Workload Study

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Nicholas M. Pace et al., Rand Corp. (2023). This report showcases the results of collaborative research on public defense workloads from the RAND Corporation, the National Center for State Courts, the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defense, and the Law Office of Lawyer Hanlon. This research is intended to update…

Indigent Defense Environmental Scan: Identifying Research Needs to Support Fair and Equitable Indigent Defense in the United States

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Duren Banks et al., Priority Crim. Just. Needs Initiative (2023). This report details gaps in research around the provision of public defense and provides recommendations for addressing those needs. Researchers completed a comprehensive scan of the current literature around the needs of public defense systems, obtained input from practitioners, and reviewed priorities of federal and…

Indigent Criminal Defense and Commonwealth’s Attorneys: Report to the Governor and the General Assembly of Virginia

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Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (2023). This report examines the state of public defense in Virginia, as requested by the state’s Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission. Virginia has a hybrid public defense system comprised of either state-funded local public defender offices or private court-appointed defense attorneys compensated by the state. This report finds…

ABA Ten Principles of a Public Defense Delivery System

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Am. Bar. Ass’n (2023). The American Bar Association released an updated version of their ten core principles for effective public defense delivery systems. These principles outline best practices for public defense systems and incorporate decades of case law, defense standards, and nationwide rules and practices. The Ten Principles include: 1) the independence of public defense…

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.

Report to the Governor and General Assembly on Virginia’s Juvenile Justice System

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Report and Recommendations to Address Race in Washington Juvenile Legal System

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How-To-Guide on Legislative Advocacy: “Ensuring Access for Youth of Color: Raising Race in Policy Advocacy”

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Developing Statutes for Competence to Stand Trial in Juvenile Delinquency Proceedings: A Guide for Lawmakers

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Joint Statement on the Importance of Specialization of Judges, Prosecutors, and Defenders in Juvenile Delinquency Proceedings

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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…

National Juvenile Defender Center Recommendations for the Biden/Harris Administration

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Ambassadors for Racial Justice Call to Action

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Encouraging Judges to Support Zealous Defense Advocacy from Detention to Post-Disposition: An Overview of the Juvenile Delinquency Guidelines of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

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SMART on Juvenile Indigent Defense

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The Cost of Juvenile Probation: A Critical Look into the Harms of Juvenile Supervision Fees

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Infographic on the harms of supervision fees on young people.

Collateral Consequences of Juvenile Court Involvement: An Opportunity for Partnership

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