Illinois: An Assessment of Access to Counsel & Quality or Representation in Delinquency Proceedings

Illinois: An Assessment of Access to Counsel & Quality or Representation in Delinquency Proceedings

In anticipation of the fortieth anniversary of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision which ruled that children accused of delinquent acts are entitled to the protections of due process, including the right to counsel, the Children and Family Justice Center of the Bluhm Legal Clinic at the Northwestern University School of Law and the National Juvenile Defender Center have conducted an assessment of Illinois's juvenile justice system. Funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the report, Illinois: An Assessment of Access to Counsel & Quality or Representation in Delinquency Proceedings, finds that attorneys for children are usually not appointed before a child's first appearance in court and that the inappropriate use of plea bargaining and confusion over the role of counsel are widespread.