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LAS: Young New Yorkers in Custody Must Have the Right to an Attorney

The Legal Aid Society has joined a coalition of more than 60 children’s rights organizations pushing support for a new state law passed that would mandate an attorney is consulted before law enforcement can interrogate any suspects under the age of 18, as reported by Atlanta Black Star.

Proponents say the measure would add safeguards for juveniles, who are more susceptible than adults to coercive police tactics when detained for questioning. Decades of research shows children too often do not fully understand Miranda warnings or the impacts police interrogations can have on their lives.

“The campaign reflects a coalition of people who are all supportive of this piece of legislation,” said Martin Feinman, Director of Juvenile Justice Training for The Legal Aid Society. “And the campaign is an effort to generate more support amongst people throughout New York state and amongst legislators in Albany to try and make sure this bill gets passed.”