Post by Logan on Jun 24, 2016 7:48:59 GMT -6
Legislators are on track to enact a string of juvenile criminal justice reforms before the session ends next week.
The General Assembly passed a bill Thursday that would require legal representation for all juvenile defendants. Proposals to end the shackling of youth in court, expand an alternative to arrest and improve the process for expunging juvenile criminal records also are all only a few votes away from becoming law.
The state public defender's office and advocacy groups like the American Civil Liberties Union have pushed this year for changes to how the police and courts handle young people accused of crimes. They argue the state should be trying to keep kids out the criminal justice system whenever practical because arrests and convictions often haunt them into adulthood, making it hard to get good jobs or otherwise contribute to society.
First, though, advocates argue the state needs to make sure all youth who do end up in the courts get the help they need.
Read more: www.delawareonline.com/story/news/politics/2016/06/23/juvenile-justice-reforms-have-smooth-path-legislature/86250680/