The Justice Department is using its enforcement authority to prompt defense system reform. Pursuant to the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 USC § 14141, the Civil Rights Division’s Special Litigation Section works to remedy constitutional violations within state and local juvenile justice systems. In a 2012 DOJ Findings report, the first of its kind concerning constitutional violations in a juvenile justice system, the Department urged that “[v]igorous advocacy by defense counsel ensures that the youth’s voice is heard in the process and a fair, just, and appropriate result is achieved.” The Office for Access to Justice supports the enforcement work of the Civil Rights Division in all matters relating to the right to counsel.
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Enforcement of the Right to Counsel
Updated October 24, 2018