Juvenile Justice

New NJDC Report Documents States’ Failure to Protect Children’s Right to Counsel

The National Juvenile Defender Center (“NJDC”) has issued new report that examines a serious failure in our justice system: the systematic denial of children’s constitutional right to a public defense. As NJDC’s troubling new report, Access Denied, documents, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled fifty years ago in In re Gault that children have a right to “the guiding hand of… Read more →

Youth Opportunity and Fairness Act

The Youth Opportunity and Fairness Act (HB 3817/SB 2021) has been introduced in the Illinois Legislature. The Act both strengthens confidentiality of juvenile records while improving the processes for expunging juvenile records. The Act would bring Illinois’ laws into line with the American Bar Association’s model guidelines on youth records. Under the Youth Opportunity and Fairness Act, courts would automatically… Read more →

Advocates Call for an End to the Presumptive Shackling of Juveniles in Court

The Illinois Justice Project has submitted a proposed proposed rule to the state Supreme Court Rules Committee to reform the practice of shackling children appearing in juvenile court. The Committee referred the proposed rule to the Juvenile Justice Committee of the Judicial Conference in order to study and review the matter. In July, the Rules Committee heard testimony in favor… Read more →