Indiana: An Assessment of Access to Counsel and Quality of Representation in Delinquency Proceedings (2006)

This assessment of access to counsel and quality of representation for children in Indiana is part of a nationwide effort to address deficiencies and identify strengths in juvenile indigent defense practices. More than thirty-five years after the United States Supreme Court decided in In re Gault that children have a constitutional right to counsel, the spirit and promise of this decision have largely remained unfulfilled. With a few exceptions, juvenile indigent defense practices have gone unchecked. The purpose of this assessment is to closely examine juvenile defense practices in Indiana, identify systemic and institutional obstacles that impede the development of an improved legal service delivery system, and offer recommendations for change.

The information in this report is the result of the work of a team of national and state-based experts including the National Juvenile Defender Center; the Central Juvenile Defender Center and the Children’s Law Center in Covington, Kentucky; the Youth Law T.E.A.M. of the Indiana Juvenile Justice Task Force; and a number of other state, regional and national partners. An investigative team of 14 state and national members conducted site visits and court observations in eleven counties across the state. Interviews were conducted with judges, prosecutors, probation staff, defenders and private attorneys, school personnel, detention personnel, youth, parents, and other stakeholders. A survey was also conducted with public defenders, appointed counsel and juvenile court judges statewide to elicit additional information.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Assessment, Gault Center Publications, Resource Library
Tags: Access to Counsel, Quality of Representation, Youth Defense Systems