Wednesday, August 13, 2008

U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary Passes S.3155

On July 31, 2008, the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary marked-up and passed, by voice vote, S. 3155, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2008, bi-partisan legislation to reauthorize the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) and originally co-sponsored by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ranking Member Arlen Specter (R-PA), and Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI).

As introduced, S. 3155:
  • Encourages states to make critical improvements to juvenile justice systems, including the avoidance of dangerous practices and the adoption of evidence based practices;
  • Gives states authority to retain delinquent offenders under juvenile jurisdiction after they have reached the age of majority, in keeping with state law;
  • Places common sense limits on the pretrial detention of juveniles in adult jails;
  • Creates a meaningful approach for reducing racial and ethnic disparities in juvenile justice by strengthening the disproportionate minority contact (DMC) core requirement;
  • Dramatically increases federal authorizations for core juvenile justice programs;
  • Creates new incentives for improving mental health and substance abuse assessment, treatment and diversion, as well as for improving case management and re-entry services:
  • Reaffirms the federal-state partnership by supporting states’ efforts to comply with JJDPA core requirements, strengthening research and technical assistance to be conducted by the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Policy (OJJDP), and increasing transparency on the part of OJJDP and the states.
During the July 31 mark-up, S. 3155 was further strengthened to:
  • Phase-out use of the valid court order over a three-year period, with a 1-2 year hardship extension for those states that need additional time to make needed changes;
  • Sharpen the focus on mental health and substance abuse services in State Plans and add opportunities for behavioral health improvements under the new Incentive Grants program; and
  • Improve fiscal and performance accountability by juvenile justice-related agencies at the federal level.

The ACT4JJ Campaign has developed a two-page summary of the bill as introduced. Click below to view.

ACT4JJ Summary of S. 3155

No comments: