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Bipartisan juvenile justice reforms

Sen. Steve Santarsiero announced that legislation to strengthen Pennsylvania’s juvenile justice system is set for action

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Sen. Steve Santarsiero (D-10th dist.), along with Sens. Lisa Baker (R-20th dist.) and Jay Costa (D-43rd dist.), announced that legislation to strengthen Pennsylvania’s juvenile justice system is set for action.

The senators are advancing a package of bills intended to achieve taxpayer savings that can then be reinvested to implement more effective research-based policies. The effort includes changes to standardize the expungement process and shorten the timeline for eligibility in certain cases, and provide funding for alternative sentencing and juvenile defense expenses.

“These bills will help ensure that all juveniles are treated fairly during all stages of their interactions with the justice system,” said Santarsiero. “The justice system should not create a permanent impediment to the success of the juvenile offender after their debt to society has been paid. Together, this package of bills will help youth in the juvenile justice system move smoothly and justly through the process and give them a chance at success in the future.”

Bills introduced in this package include:

– Senate Bill 1227: Amends the Human Services Code to include both juvenile justice and child welfare funding goals
– Senate Bill 1229: Amends the Human Services Code to provide funding for indigent juvenile defense services
– Senate Bill 1228: Keeps youth in out-of-home placement no longer than the timeframe supported by research
– Senate Bill 1226: Creates a standardized statewide expungement process

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