Scott Statement on the Passage of Bipartisan Juvenile Justice Bill
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), the top Democrat on the Committee on Education and the Workforce, issued the following statement after the passage of the Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2018 (H.R.6964), which reauthorizes and reforms the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) to help state and local leaders better serve juvenile offenders and at-risk youth.
“Today is the culmination of a multi-year, bipartisan effort to improve our juvenile justice system. Rather than setting policy based in slogans and soundbites, the Juvenile Justice Reform Act is guided by the best-available evidence and the best interests of young offenders, at-risk youth, and communities across the country.
“This legislation strengthens each of the core protections for children in the juvenile justice system: It ensures children are treated separately – both in approach and location – than adult offenders; it shifts the focus from punishing young people to supporting them through education and programming; and it puts a spotlight on the racial disparities in our juvenile justice system. I am particularly gratified that this bill incorporates key elements of the Youth P.R.O.M.I.S.E. Act, which I have worked on over the last decade, as a way to reduce juvenile delinquency and gang involvement.
“Lastly, while the bill reauthorizes the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) through 2020, I look forward to working with my colleagues next Congress on a full reauthorization of RHYA programs that makes needed improvements and recognizes the need for appropriate funding for such programs. I’d like to thank Chairwoman Foxx and Representative Lewis for their steadfast work in producing a bill that will change the trajectory for countless young people and strengthen our communities.”