Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act

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The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 is a United States federal law providing funds to states that follow a series of federal protections, known as the "core protections," on the care and treatment of youth in the justice system. The four "core protections" of the act are:

  • "Sight and Sound" -- The "Sight and Sound" separation protection disallows contact between juvenile and adult offenders (i.e. if juveniles are put in an adult jail or lock up under the limited circumstances the law allows for, they must be separated from adult inmates);
  • "Jail Removal" -- The "Jail Removal" disallows the placement of youth in adult jails and lock ups except under very limited circumstances;
  • Disproportionate Minority Confinement (DMC) -- The DMC provision requires states to address the issue of over-representation of youth of color in the justice system.

The "DSO" and "Sight and Sound" protections were part of the original law in 1974. The "Jail Removal" provision was added in 1980 in response to finding youth incarcerated in adult facilities resulted in "a high suicide rate, physical, mental, and sexual assault, inadequate care and programming, negative labeling, and exposure to serious offenders and mental patients." [1] The "DMC" requirement was added in the JJDPA in 1992. [2]

The compliance of states towards the requirements of the JJDP Act is monitored by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. [3] As of 2000, the "vast majority" of participating states comply with the first three requirements and are making strides towards the fourth. [4]. With the exception of Wyoming, all states participate in the program.

Reauthorization bills[edit]

The last reauthorization took place in 2002.[1] On June 18, 2008, Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont introduced S.3155 [5], a bill to reauthorize the juvenile delinquency prevention programs of the JJDPA through FY2013, saying, "With the reauthorization of this important legislation, we recommit to these important goals but also push the law forward in key ways to better serve our communities and our children." [2] The Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bill with broad bipartisan support.[3] However, it was never voted on in the Senate.

The bill was reintroduced in 2009, S. 678, and again passed the Senate Judiciary Committee but did not get a floor vote in the Senate.[4] In December 2014, Senators Charles Grassley and Sheldon Whitehouse introduced a new reauthorization bill.[5] The new law would require states to focus on racial disparities in the juvenile justice system.[6]

Additional information on the JJDPA, background history, recommendations, hearing proceedings, facts and research can be found at: http://www.act4jj.org.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ John Kelly (2014-12-11). "Bipartisan Juvenile Justice Bill Would Phase Out Valid Court Order, Demand Data on Isolation". The Chronicle of Social Change. Retrieved 2014-12-12. 
  2. ^ THOMAS (Library of Congress) Congressional Record: Page: S5761
  3. ^ PR Newswire, Juvenile Justice Organizations and Advocates Applaud Senate Judiciary Members on the Approval of Strong JJDPA Legislation, July 31, 2008
  4. ^ John Kelly (2014-12-11). "Bipartisan Juvenile Justice Bill Would Phase Out Valid Court Order, Demand Data on Isolation". The Chronicle of Social Change. Retrieved 2014-12-12. 
  5. ^ John Kelly (2014-12-11). "Bipartisan Juvenile Justice Bill Would Phase Out Valid Court Order, Demand Data on Isolation". The Chronicle of Social Change. Retrieved 2014-12-12. 
  6. ^ "Senators Grassley and Whitehouse Introduce Juvenile Justice Bill". The Sentencing Project. Retrieved 2014-12-12.