Last week, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) introduced the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2014. The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) provides state and local government agencies with federal standards and supports for juvenile justice and delinquency prevention.
Of high interest to cities are three key changes to the way state and local governments address and treat young people. The proposed bill would:
- Remove a loop-hole that allows juvenile courts to detain youth for non-criminal acts;
- Give local and state governments more guidance on understanding and reducing racial and ethnic disparities; and
- Require several evidence-based steps to reduce the harm the juvenile justice system does to many young people.