chapter  6
15 Pages

Gault’s ripple effect: the founding of Juvenile Law Center

ByRobert Schwartz

The United States Supreme Court decided In re Gault during a time of rapid growth of legal services in the United States. Gault's initial trickle of lawyers for children became a tributary that, by the mid-1970s, was merging with a larger river of lawyering in the public interest. Barbara and Connie ran the Juvenile Justice Center of Pennsylvania. They were leading a citizens' movement to prevent the construction of a large new juvenile detention center to replace the county's small, antiquated building, known as Montgomery Hall. The delinquency and dependency systems are the "involuntary", or coercive systems that enter the lives of children and families. Jerome Miller created a non-profit corporation, the Center for Community Alternatives (CCA), for the purpose of developing new plans for Camp Hill's residents. Through DeMarco and CCA, the authors at Juvenile Law Center learned during their first year how to develop a sound disposition plan to present to the juvenile court.