Indiana juvenile justice task force wants minimum age for detainment, other reforms

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Indiana Public Media on 12/15/2021 by Katrina Pross

A year after a state task force was created to improve Indiana’s juvenile justice system, recommendations for change are now headed to lawmakers.

Tuesday the Indiana Juvenile Justice Reform Task Force endorsed a broad range of proposals that would establish statewide norms and tweak parts of the complex laws for how courts and law enforcement interact with youth.

The recommendations include setting a minimum age of 12-years-old for detainment by police, boosting support for youth reentering the community, and establish consistent standards for juvenile diversion programs while allowing counties flexibility. The 12 recommendations were split into several categories: diversion and supervision, out-of-home placement, data, and funding and services.

The proposed changes come as an independent analysis found many gaps in Indiana’s juvenile system, including a lack of statewide data about youth in the system and how counties operate with inconsistent policies and procedures.

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