Smart reforms to juvenile justice system signed into law!

Posted on August 12, 2015

Thank the Governor for taking an important step forward for youth in NJ.
Thank Sen. Nellie Pou for her leadership in advancing this juvenile justice reform.

A big win for New Jersey juvenile justice reform advocates! Gov. Christie just signed the juvenile justice reform bipartisan bill( S2003/A4299).  Here are some key highlights of the legislation.

Eliminates solitary confinement as a disciplinary measure. This practice can only be used for a youth that poses an “immediate and substantial risk of harm to others” and only after all other options have been exhausted.

Now fewer youth can be waived to adult court. The bill increased the age a juvenile can be “waived” into adult court,  from 14 to 15 and narrowed the list of applicable offenses. Sentences for youth waived to adult court may still be served in a youth facility until the age of 21 and the youth may remain there beyond that time at the discretion of the Commission.

Ensures much needed data. The Juvenile Justice Commission will be required to collect and publish data.

The reforms just signed into law by Governor Christie will continue to make New Jerseys juvenile justice system smarter and safer.

For more details regarding the reforms, read the release from the NJ Juvenile Justice Coalition, of which ACNJ is a member. The coalition worked to ensure that this legislation was good for New Jersey youth.

Read the full testimony for ACNJ’s recommendations.