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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 152405 Find in a Library
Title: Right to Counsel in Juvenile Court: Fulfilling Gault's Promise
Author(s): B C Feld
Corporate Author: University of Michigan
School of Social Work
United States of America
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 40
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1106
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America

University of Michigan
School of Social Work
1080 S. University Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1106
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper reviews a juvenile's right to counsel as mandated in "In re Gault," assesses the implementation of this court decision in juvenile courts, and suggests ways to enhance compliance with this right in juvenile courts.
Abstract: Although "Gault" held that juvenile offenders are constitutionally entitled to the assistance of counsel in juvenile delinquency proceedings, data show that Gault's promise of counsel remains unrealized. The high rates of nonrepresentation implicate several legal issues: the validity of waivers of counsel by unrepresented juveniles; the incarceration of unrepresented youths; and the use of prior, uncounseled juvenile convictions to enhance the subsequent sentences of both juvenile and adult defendants. The recent research on the delivery and effectiveness of legal services in juvenile courts shows that changes in legislative and judicial policies are necessary. Instead of relying on discretionary review of the "totality of the circumstances" to assess the validity of a youth's waiver of counsel, legislation or judicial rules of procedure should mandate the automatic and nonwaivable appointment of counsel at the earliest stage in a delinquency proceeding. Either automatic appointment or a requirement of consultation with counsel prior to waiver would assure the development of legal services delivery systems that would facilitate the routine representation of juveniles. 31 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile court procedures
Index Term(s): Right to counsel; Rights of minors
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=152405

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