The Florida Supreme Court issued an opinion amending the state’s juvenile procedures, making them consistent with the principles underlying the Foundation’s Models for Change juvenile justice reform initiative. The opinion restricts the use of shackles and other restraints for juvenile offenders to a case-by-case basis; requires judges to make sure minors understand their rights before waiving them, especially the right to counsel; and mandates that a lawyer be present at sentencing hearings. In Florida, the Supreme Court oversees procedures for the juvenile justice system. The Court’s opinion was based on recommendations in an assessment by MacArthur grantee the National Juvenile Defender Center and supported by Florida members of the Models for Change Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network. Program Officer Cathryn Crawford co-authored the assessment before joining the Foundation.

Juvenile Justice, Justice, Policy, United States, Youth