Saturday, July 31, 2021

Play

Educators' unions call for efforts to ensure in-person learning keeps students, teachers, families, and staff safe; and an update on hate crimes by state.

Play

Congress passes Capitol security funding; House Freedom Caucus members want Cheney, Kinzinger out of GOP conference; Schumer closes a deal to advance $3.5 trillion reconciliation package; and a new report says investor-owned utilities try to block rooftop solar.

Youth Advocates Push MD Bill to Divert Kids from Jail

Play

Friday, April 9, 2021   

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - As many states consider policing reforms, juvenile-justice groups in Maryland are pushing lawmakers to pass a bill to give police officers an alternate approach to arresting young people.

House Bill 1187 would divert kids under age 13 from entering the criminal justice system, allowing officers to not charge them with misdemeanor or nonviolent felony crimes.

Betsy Tolentino - assistant secretary of community operations at the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services - said instead, young people and their families would be redirected to community-based programs to treat any behavioral problems.

She said diversion helps lower the chance of kids being arrested again.

"For the young people that we can just sort of address them the minute they come to our attention," said Tolentino, "with maybe some behavioral health services, drug treatment - and keep them from having to go through that formal process. Then we may stop the cycle of offending right away, and provide the supports they need to be successful in their communities."

The Governor's Juvenile Justice Reform Council recommended House Bill 1187 in its final report. The bill passed the Maryland House in a 95-to-41 vote and is now in the state Senate.

Tolentino said the Reform Council included public defenders, folks from Juvenile Services, and national experts in the criminal-justice system. After researching juvenile behavior, she noted they concluded, for low-level offenses, the harm of restrictive detention outweighs any benefits.

"So, for those young people who may be engaged in misdemeanor-type offenses, there's lots of other things we can do in the community," said Tolentino. "We can use electronic monitoring, we can do pretrial supervision, or other interventions that keep the young person and the community safe."

Research shows that processing a young person through the formal court system before age 18 can have devastating long-term consequences, including less education and fewer employment opportunities.


get more stories like this via email
In addition to roof repairs and other home improvements to lower utility bills, a Michigan League for Public Policy report recommends expanding utility-shutoff protections to include households with young children. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

LANSING, Mich. - High utility costs are a major burden for Michigan's low-income residents, and a new study says they have an impact on their health…


Environment

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A new report shows an effort by investor-owned utilities in the Sunshine State to block the growth of rooftop solar. The …

Health and Wellness

By Troy Pierson / Broadcast version by Mary Schuermann reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration. As marijuana becomes more …


Across the United States, 46 states have laws allowing for harsher punishment for crimes based on bias. (Ludk/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

SALT LAKE CITY - With rising numbers of people targeted in hate crimes and related violence, a new report analyzes the hate-crime laws in each state…

Social Issues

BOSTON - Educators' unions are calling on the state to support their efforts to ensure in-person learning in the fall keeps students, teachers…

According to AARP Connecticut, 47% of family caregivers have had at least one financial setback, such as having less money for retirement or savings, or cutting back on their own healthcare spending. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

HARTFORD, Conn. - In Connecticut, more than 460,000 people care for close friends or family members who can't manage on their own - and their …

Social Issues

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Millions of Americans soon could find eviction notices on their front doors, but New Mexico renters will not be among them - as …

Health and Wellness

CONCORD, N.H. - New Hampshire advocates for affordable healthcare access want Congress to lower prescription costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021