JauNae M. Hanger


Since 1996, Ms. Hanger has worked with her law partner and husband Richard A. Waples in a plaintiff’s practice in Indianapolis to advance reform in challenging areas for civil liberties and civil rights. Areas of primary focus include police misconduct, wrongful death, prison condition reform, access to mental health and medical care for institutionalized and confined persons, failure to protect cases and juvenile justice.

Ms. Hanger serves on various boards, committees and public policy planning groups for children.  She is vice-chair of the Indiana Juvenile Mental Health Screening Assessment and Treatment Pilot Project (2006-current); and she serves on the state Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative Steering Committee and subcommittee on Disproportionate Minority Contact.  She has formerly served on the Admissions and Disproportionate Minority Contact Committees of the Annie E. Casey Foundation Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) in Marion County. She has served two terms as chair of the Indiana State Bar Association’s Civil Rights of Children Committee (2004-05 and 2010-11). She is a former Commissioner of the legislatively appointed Commission on Disproportionality in Youth Services (2008), and currently participates on the Indiana Disproportionality Committee and is chair of the public policy subcommittee. Ms. Hanger serves on several statewide policy and planning initiatives for children, and works on issues relating to children’s access to care. She is a regular participant in the National Juvenile Defender Leadership Invitational Summit, and she serves on the Advisory Board for Strategies for Youth, a national organization dedicated to improving interactions between police and youth. She also is a member of the American Bar Association’s Litigation and Law Practice Management Sections, as well as the Criminal Law Section’s Juvenile Justice Committee.

Under Ms. Hanger’s leadership, Waples & Hanger has committed considerable resources to addressing the unmet legal needs of children through legislative advocacy, bar-related activities and litigation. Ms. Hanger has worked with the state bar and children’s organizations to initiate legislation to promote increased access of youth to mental health services, address racial disparities in juvenile justice and other child serving systems, and advance reform on behalf of children. Additionally, she regularly participates through the legal community in collaborative efforts to advance the unmet legal needs of youth.

Ms. Hanger has received three awards from the Indiana State Bar Association for her work on behalf of children: two (2) Presidential Citations (2004 and 2009) and the Honorable Viola J. Taliaferro Award (2004). In 2010, she was awarded the Indianapolis Children’s Bureau Roberta Wood Nichols Award for her legislative advocacy on behalf of children. In 2011, she received an award from the Indiana Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness for Outstanding Community Service. In 2012, she received an award from the Ohio Valley Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine in recognition of her dedication and service to adolescent health.

Education: Indiana University, B.A. (magna cum laude) 1982; Indiana University School of Law-Bloomington, J.D. 1991.