A Light at the End of a Long Tunnel for JJDPA Reauthorization?
Group: Wisconsin Division of Juvenile Corrections
You may recall that Sen. Whitehouse and Sen. Grassley introduced a bill to reauthorize the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) late in the last congressional session. But, clearly Sen. Grassley, now in the majority, is being a leading voice in promoting JJDPA reauthorization, on a strong bi-partisan basis, in the new Congress. Changes that could impact Wisconsin include: – Phasing out the Valid Court Order (VCO) exception that now permits holding status offenders in secure custody in some cases – although Wisconsin is doing better, there remain a few counties that rely on the VCO exception to hold non-delinquent youth. That will go away! – Adding stronger requirements related to efforts to reduce racial disparities – while some good projects and efforts have been made in Wisconsin, we have a long way to go and we are rapidly falling behind. In a state in which the disparities are the highest, we can ill afford to take a step back on addressing this issue. – Adding protections and/or rules around holding youth under 18 in adult facilities. In light of the need to even get 17 year olds back into the juvenile system, this will push Wisconsin harder.
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