Whereas, May 15, 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court's landmark decision in the case known as In Re Gault; and
Whereas, there remains a pervasive crisis in juvenile justice throughout the United States; and
Whereas, the National Juvenile Defender Center, an organization with which NACDL has a long history of mutual collaboration, plans to promote juvenile justice reform by launching the Gault at 50 Campaignto ensure that every child has an effective attorney in America's juvenile courts, and, as a part of that campaign seeks broad endorsement of certain core principles; and
Whereas, the principles articulated in the Gault at 50 Campaign are consistent with NACDL's mission and reform agenda,
It is hereby resolved that NACDL endorses the Gault at 50 Campaign and supports the following principles:
- Every child should be provided a juvenile defense attorney at the earliest possible moment.
- Every child should be automatically eligible for a publicly funded juvenile defense attorney.
- A child’s juvenile defense attorney should represent the child throughout the time the child is under the jurisdiction or supervision of the juvenile justice system, from arrest through post-disposition, which may include incarceration, probation, and/or parole, related appeals, and reentry
- Every juvenile defense attorney must receive specialized training and support to be an effective advocate for children.
- Publicly funded defense systems must provide the necessary training, leadership, funding, tools, and resources to develop juvenile defenders with specialized knowledge and expertise.
Resolution of the Board of Directors
May 21, 2016