Baker joins juvenile justice reform push

Posted 1/15/20

HARRISBURG, PA — State Sen. Lisa Baker will be a part of the newly created Juvenile Justice Task Force.

“We need to thoroughly look at all aspects of juvenile justice: balancing the …

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Baker joins juvenile justice reform push

Posted

HARRISBURG, PA — State Sen. Lisa Baker will be a part of the newly created Juvenile Justice Task Force.

“We need to thoroughly look at all aspects of juvenile justice: balancing the interests and rights of the kids, their families and their communities; assessing the costs and effectiveness of placements and approaches; determining the public safety implications of what is done; and deciding how to ensure accountability for what takes place inside the system and how the return to the community is handled,” Baker said.

“Extensive reforms implemented by the three branches of state government following the Kids for Cash scandal addressed what happens to kids once they are in the juvenile justice system. There is still work to be done in that regard, but the bigger challenge is to figure out ways to intervene with young people before they commit acts that bring them into the system. This is consistent with what we are trying to do across criminal justice generally, stressing prevention up front and reducing recidivism on the back end,” she explained.

The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency issued a report a year ago that faulted the state for severely underfunding research into juvenile delinquency, the report said that this lack of funding affects PA’s ability to stop kids short of coming into the system and properly dealing with them once they do.

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