Proposed Recommendations To Alabama’s Juvenile Detention Center

A task force aimed to reform Alabama’s juvenile-justice system hopes to make more progress this legislative session.

Its been months of research and evaluations of Alabama’s Juvenile Justice System, for members of the Alabama Juvenile-Justice Task force.

For Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Lyn Stuart, one of the most troubling findings, is the lack of resources and alternative programs for juvenile offenders, especially in rural areas. “Our rural counties they basically have a juvenile probation officer and not a whole lot else” she explained.

The group’s list of recommended improvements include preventing unnecessary or inappropriate arrests of children, and restricting out-of-home placement.

The director of Alabama Appleseed Center of Law and Justice says the recently released report is progress in the right direction but more still needs to be done.

“We urge them to consider adding to any legislation that will come out of those recommendations, one is those areas is children tried as adults” said Frank Knaack.

In Alabama, children as young as 14 can be sent to adult court. The non-profit is also asking that recommendations include limitations and clarity on the role of law enforcement in schools.

Knaack explained “So when there are police in schools, school resource officers, that their role is not to enforce school discipline policies or school discipline rules but to enforce serious criminal law matters only”.

The legislature will use the proposed recommendations to craft legislation to be considered this session.

 

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