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

Legal Training and Support

Legal Training and Support

PJDC guides over 2400 youth defenders and advocates so all young people in California are represented by informed counsel with the requisite expertise to vigorously defend their clients' rights.
More »
Coalition Building and Public Advocacy

Coalition Building and Public Advocacy

With CAYCJ, PJDC zealously advocates for community-based solutions that deliver better long-term outcomes for more than 25,000 youth annually and mitigate the trauma of incarceration.
More »
Legislation and Amicus Briefs

Legislation and Amicus Briefs

PJDC co-sponsors transformative legislation, provides technical assistance to California lawmakers, and authors amicus briefs for landmark CA Supreme Court cases.
More »
Fighting Systemic Injustice

Fighting Systemic Injustice

PJDC strives to expose, challenge, and correct discrimination and the disproportionate incarceration of young people of color through litigation, policy, media outreach, and publications.
More »

News & Announcements

View Archive

iStock-582299684

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)

We need your help!

PJDC’s vision is that young people in California have access to excellent legal representation, receive fair and equitable treatment in the courts, and be provided with credible, trauma-informed, and community-supported alternatives to incarceration that foster success.  We’ve made progress, but we need your help to turn our vision into reality.  Learn how to support PJDC’s mission here.

Make a Donation