Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Juvenile Justice Reform Bill Heads to House With Bipartisan Support

From The Indiana Lawyer:

The Indiana Senate passed a bill Wednesday [February 24] that could save the state nearly $1 million in federal funding by prohibiting juveniles charged with crimes from being held in adult jails.

Senate Bill 368, authored by Ogden Dunes Democrat Sen. Karen Tallian, prevailed on third reading, getting bipartisan support in a 46-1 vote. The bill now moves to the House, where Rep. Wendy McNamara, R-Evansville, has signed on as the sponsor.

In particular, the bill prohibits individuals under 18 years of age from being held pretrial with adult inmates. Courts will have discretion to place a minor in an adult facility, but when doing so, judges must consider such factors as the juvenile’s age, maturity, and mental status as well as the nature of the offense and the ability of the facility to meet needs of the young person.

Also, if a juvenile is housed in an adult jail, the court must review placement after 180 days.

In addition, SB 368 includes provisions regarding juvenile competency. If the court determines the minor is not competent, the judge may order the child to participate in services that are provided by “a qualified competency attainment services provider” in the “least restrictive setting.”

Also, the bill requires the automatic expungement of a delinquency adjudication when the individual reaches 19 years of age.

Read more here.

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