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Innovation Brief: Eliminating the Practice of Indiscriminate Shackling of Youth

Published Dec 12, 2013, National Juvenile Defender Center

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Many youth in custody are forced to appear in court shackled with leg irons, belly chains, and handcuffs. The practice of restraining youth who pose no safety threat unnecessarily humiliates, stigmatizes, and traumatizes young people. Shackling youth is inconsistent with the rehabilitative goals of the juvenile justice system and offends due process. Juvenile defenders involved in the Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network (JIDAN) developed a variety of strategic innovations to end the indiscriminate shackling of youth and the successes have been widely replicated across the nation.


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