Anti-Shackling Proposal | ABA Resolution 107A | Summary and Q&A

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October 25, 2022
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American Bar Association
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Anti-Shackling Proposal | ABA Resolution 107A

TL;DR

Juveniles in the US have been indiscriminately shackled, but a movement led by the South Carolina Bar and supported by advocacy groups has resulted in 31 states and the District of Columbia implementing laws or policies to ban this harmful practice.

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Key Insights

  • ❓ Indiscriminate shackling of juveniles in courtrooms was a common practice until recently.
  • 🤕 The South Carolina Bar played a significant role in starting the movement to end the practice by adopting a resolution urging for a ban on blanket shackling.
  • 👥 The movement gained national support with the help of advocacy groups such as the ABA Criminal Justice Section and the National Juvenile Defender Center.
  • 👮 Currently, 31 states and the District of Columbia have implemented laws or policies to prohibit indiscriminate shackling.
  • 🗯️ Opponents argue that indiscriminate shackling is contrary to law, interferes with due process, and violates civil and human rights.
  • 🖐️ The Juvenile Justice Clinic at the University of Maine School of Law played a crucial role in raising awareness and advocating for an end to the practice.
  • ❓ Personal testimonies from individuals who experienced indiscriminate shackling, like Sky Gosling, were significant in mobilizing support for the movement.

Transcript

"My name is Sky Gosling, I am 20 years old. I was  handcuffed and shackled when I was 12 years old."  It was the first time she had set foot in a  courtroom. She had been charged with disorderly   conduct, but missed the original juvenile court  hearing because her mother misread the summons.  "And so, for missing it, I got handcuffed  and shackled... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How did the movement to end the indiscriminate shackling of juveniles gain traction?

The movement gained traction when the South Carolina Bar adopted a resolution urging for a ban on blanket shackling. With the support of advocacy groups and the introduction of anti-shackling legislation, the movement grew and influenced other jurisdictions to act.

Q: What are the reasons behind the opposition to blanket shackling of juveniles?

Opponents argue that indiscriminate shackling interferes with the attorney-client relationship, undermines due process and the presumption of innocence, and contradicts the rehabilitative ideals of the juvenile court system. It is seen as a violation of civil and human rights.

Q: How many states have implemented laws or policies to prohibit indiscriminate shackling of juveniles?

Currently, 31 states and the District of Columbia have laws or policies in place to ban the indiscriminate shackling of juveniles.

Q: How did the Juvenile Justice Clinic at the University of Maine School of Law contribute to ending indiscriminate shackling?

The Juvenile Justice Clinic played a crucial role in raising awareness about the practice and enlisted the help of individuals like Sky Gosling, who testified in front of the legislature and shared their personal experiences. This advocacy work contributed to the movement's success.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Juveniles in the US were routinely shackled before court proceedings until a movement to stop the practice gained momentum.

  • The South Carolina Bar played a crucial role in introducing anti-shackling legislation, which eventually led to 31 states and the District of Columbia banning the indiscriminate shackling of juveniles.

  • Advocacy groups such as the ABA Criminal Justice Section and the National Juvenile Defender Center were instrumental in taking the movement on a national level.

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