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May 24, 2017

A Step Forward for Juvenile Justice-Hope Springs Eternal

Per the Coalition for Juvenile Justice:

House Passes HR 1809 to Reform and Reauthorize the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act.

Today, in the U.S. House of Representatives, a bipartisan bill that would reauthorize the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, and enhance the focus on prevention, was passed by voice vote.

The legislation, known as the Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2017, was introduced by Rep. Jason Lewis (R-MN) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA).

The bipartisan legislation includes reforms to:

  • Phase out use of the valid court order exception and stop the incarceration of children in need of services.
  • Provide states and local leaders flexibility to deliver services that meet the specific needs of young people in their own communities.
  • Prioritize evidence-based strategies with proven track records and long-term solutions for addressing juvenile delinquency.
  • Improve accountability and oversight at all levels of the juvenile justice system.”

This reauthorization is important to the future of juvenile justice in the states, but we’ve seen this move before – the House passed a reauthorization proposal last year only to have it get hung up in the Senate around the issue of phasing out the Valid Court Order exception (that allows truants and runaways to be held under certain circumstances). Let’s hope this time is the “charm”! We encourage you to contact Senators Johnson and Baldwin to let them know you support a reauthorized and funded Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act.