Welcome to PJDC
The Pacific Juvenile Defender Center provides support to juvenile trial lawyers, appellate counsel, law school clinical programs, and nonprofit law centers to ensure quality representation for children throughout California.
PJDC Training Videos
PJDC has streaming training videos! We are building our video library over the next several months, but currently we have our eight-hour AB703 training video and handouts available now for purchase. View the training videos »

Our Mission

As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, PJDC needs your help to accomplish our
mission: to promote positive outcomes for all young people by ensuring excellence in youth defense and by advocating for systemic reforms in California.

Our Initiatives



The PJDC Amicus Committee, comprised of California trial counsel, appellate counsel, law faculty, and juvenile advocates, collaborates on issues of critical importance to California juvenile defenders.
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Youth Justice Reform

Youth Justice Reform

PJDC members develop and comment on proposed changes in juvenile justice policy, participate in informational legislative hearings, serve on multi-agency task forces and more.
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Training & Technical Assistance

PJDC fills a critical need in offering the chronically under-resourced California juvenile defense bar specialized trainings and technical support services.
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News & Announcements

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PJDC Executive Director Brooke Harris testifies in Senate on juvenile justice realignment.

View the full agenda for the February 14, 2024 Joint Hearing on Oversight of Juvenile Justice Realignment here.

BSCC Finds LA Juvenile Halls “Unsuitable” in Historic First

The Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC), found Los Angeles juvenile halls unsuitable to house young people at its September 16, 2021 meeting.  In a unanimous vote, the Board gave the county 60 days from October 1, 2021, to either remediate the violations or remove young people from the Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall… Continue reading

COVID-19 and California’s Detained Youth: Vulnerable and Overlooked

Recently, PJDC’s Policy Director Sue Burrell, along with her frequent collaborator, Shannan Wilber of the National Center of Lesbian Rights, responded to UC Berkeley California Journal of Politics and Policy’s call for articles for in its special issue on COVID-19. The resulting article, “COVID-19 and California’s Detained Youth: Vulnerable and Overlooked,” chronicles the efforts they… Continue reading

“The child requires the guiding hand of counsel at every step in the proceedings against him.”

— In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1 (1967)

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