This grant provides general operating support for the Gault Center, previously known as the National Juvenile Defender Center, in its mission to promote justice for all children by ensuring excellence in youth defense. Founded in 1997, the Gault Center is committed to building the capacity of the youth defense system to ensure every child not only has a lawyer but one who is specialized and trained in youth law. The Gault Center provides public defenders with the training and resources they need to be most effective in keeping young people from incarceration and reducing over-surveillance of them in their communities.
National Juvenile Defender Center Program to Improve Access to Justice for Youth
The National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization established in response to the lack of representation and information available for young people processed in juvenile court. As such, NJDC works to build the capacity of the juvenile defense practice to ensure every child has an attorney who is specialized and trained in juvenile law.
This funding will support two projects of the NJDC. The first project builds upon the National Juvenile Defense Performance Indicator pilot funded last year by The Tow Foundation, which will help court observers document whether children appearing in court have defense counsel. The second project continues a collaboration with leading juvenile prosecutors to formalize joint policy statements in support of youth justice reforms.
Using Innovative Data Sets and Cross-Disciplinary Consensus to Enhance Justice for Children
The National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) provides national leadership on juvenile indigent defense and due process deprivations that young people face in the delinquency system by providing training, technical assistance, policy development, community-building, leadership opportunities, legislative advocacy, litigation support, and research. This grant supports NJDC in piloting a set of national juvenile defense performance indicators and convening a gathering of juvenile defenders and juvenile prosecutors to enhance justice for children.