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Pacific Juvenile Defender Center

Pacific Juvenile Defender Center
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“The right to representation by counsel is not a formality. It is not a grudging gesture to a ritualistic requirement. It is of the essence of justice.”

— Kent v. United States, 383 U.S. 541 (1966) 

Statement of Beliefs

We believe that:

  • Children in the juvenile justice system must be treated with dignity, respect and fairness;
  • Children in the juvenile justice system require timely access to competent, properly resourced, and well-trained counsel;
  • The representation of children requires specialized expertise;
  • Vigorous defense is essential to the integrity of the juvenile justice system to prevent error, assure just results, and afford children coming before the court with the statutory and constitutional protections guaranteed by our system of law;
  • The juvenile defense bar must serve as a leader, collaborator, and partner in advancing juvenile justice policy, legislation, and professional development; and
  • The juvenile defense bar must work for systemic accountability in the court process to ensure successful outcomes for children.
  • Become a Member

    Public defenders, other juvenile defense counsel, and juvenile advocates are eligible for PJDC membership. Members enjoy access to PJDC’s extensive resource bank, listserv, expert corner, and amicus committee.

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