For years PTA has asked Congress to reauthorize JJDPA. Each year it would pass one chamber or the other only to stall. Today it finally happened, this important piece of legislation protecting juveniles in the justice system was reauthorized. Coming behind our victory in MO with #18in18 this feels like an early Christmas present protecting some of our most vulnerable youth. #mopta#ptaproud #mopta
Today, thanks to YOU, NJJN’s fearless and robust advocacy community, Congress reauthorized the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. See our press statement below.
For Immediate Release
December 13, 2018
Melissa Coretz Goemann
Senior Policy Counsel, NJJN
Congress Passes Bipartisan Reauthorization of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA)
New bill reauthorizes JJDPA and extends additional protections to children and youth in the juvenile justice system
Washington DC – Today, members Congress passed H.R. 6964, a bill to reauthorize and strengthen the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA). This measure will promote fairness, ensure state compliance with safe treatment standards, and strengthen delinquency prevention measures.
“We’re thrilled that Congress has come together to take action to reauthorize the JJDPA, which is long overdue,” said Sarah Bryer, director of the National Juvenile Justice Network. “The leadership of Senators Grassley and Whitehouse and Representatives Lewis and Scott has helped to ensure that stronger federal standards and supports are in place for improving juvenile justice and delinquency prevention practices, and contributing to safeguards for youth, families and communities.”
For more than four decades the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) has had a profound impact on how our youth justice systems operate by providing federal guidance and standards on the safe and equitable treatment of youth in every state, U.S. territory, the District of Columbia, and tribes. The JJDPA was last reauthorized by Congress in 2002. H.R. 6964 helps update the law by strengthening the core protection requiring states to address racial and ethnic disparities and requiring states to extend, within 3 years, the jail removal and sight and sound core requirements to keep youth awaiting trial in criminal court out of adult lock-ups and to ensure sight and sound separation in the limited circumstances where they are held in adult facilities. The bill is also informed by new developments that have taken place in juvenile justice since it was last reauthorized. For example, it requires that the state plans be supported by or take into account scientific knowledge on adolescent brain development and behavior, and that plans provide alternatives to detention for status offenses, engage family members in the design and delivery of prevention and treatment services, use community-based services, and promote evidence-based and trauma-informed programs and practices. Finally, the bill requires states to develop and implement a plan to eliminate the use of restraints on pregnant, confined youth.
The National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) leads a movement of state-based juvenile justice reform organizations and alumni of its Youth Justice Leadership Institute to fight for a fairer youth justice system that’s appropriate for youth and their families. NJJN advocates for policies and practices that treat youth in trouble with the law with dignity and humanity and which strengthen them, their families and their communities. Founded in 2005, NJJN is currently comprised of 53 organizational members in 43 states and the District of Columbia and a growing cadre of graduates from our Youth Justice Leadership Institute.
Thank you for your tireless advocacy to Reauthorize JJDPA!