US Senate Passes Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (2018)

In a powerful bi-partisan moment, the US Senate voted unanimously for a five-year reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA).

The JJDPA sets core safety standards for juvenile offenders that states must follow in order to qualify for federal grants.  The act hasn’t been reauthorized since 2002.

The JJDPA would ban states from holding children in adult jails even if they’ve been charged with adult crimes. It would also require states to collect data on racial disparities in the juvenile system and to come up with concrete plans for addressing those inequities. It would ban the shackling of pregnant girls, as well as provide funding for tutoring, mental health, and drug and alcohol programs for kids.

More information is available online at

The Bill now awaits President Trump’s signature.

Author: Brock Jones

Criminal lawyer practicing in Toronto. Adjunct professor of law, University of Toronto. Author of Prosecuting and Defending Youth Criminal Justice Cases from Emond Publishing. My personal views are posted on this blog and they do not necessarily represent the views of the Ministry of the Attorney General.

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