Criminal justice advocates call for reforms to the juvenile justice system

Massachusetts

State lawmakers have enlisted help from juvenile justice advocates to find ways to keep kids out of jail.

Early childhood advocates joined state lawmakers Thursday to find ways to prevent children from entering the juvenile justice system. 

They examined the impacts of poverty, mental health, and educational levels. All of are factors that lead to many adolescents finding themselves in jail or juvenile detention centers. 

The goal is to craft reforms that will have a positive impact on the direction of young peoples’ lives. Advocates hope that research and smart policy decisions can help to provide resources that children need before it’s too late. 

In an attempt to lower the incarceration rate, policymakers want to offer rehabilitation programs to children who act out in school or show signs of mental health issues. 

Lawmakers took their suggestions one step further and requested that those facilities are built in low-income areas. 

Their idea is to prevent children who lack parental supervision or make poor decisions, from making life-altering mistakes.  

Policymakers are hoping to reform parts of the juvenile justice system with bipartisan support this session. 

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