Juvenile justice reform bill that prohibits children under 12 from being detained advances

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Indiana Public Media on 01/19/2022 by Katrina Pross

A bill targeting multiple areas of juvenile justice reform passed a committee vote Wednesday.

The Indiana House Committee on Courts and Criminal Code unanimously passed House Bill 1359,  which would prohibit children under the age of 12 from being detained, create better data collection, implement risk assessment tools and boost support for youth re-entering society, among other efforts.

Circle Up Indy founder James Wilson has been through the state’s juvenile justice system and testified in support of the bill.

“I firmly believe children at the age of 12 years old should not be in detention centers, but should be given opportunities,” Wilson said.

The bill was created after several years of work and research by the Commission on Improving the Status of Children in Indiana and its Juvenile Justice Reform Taskforce.