As a parent in the state of Georgia, it could be in your family’s best interests to be aware of the updates made to the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. As reported and summarized by the National Juvenile Justice Network, the latest revisions to the JJDPA have been signed by Congress and are set to go into practice in 2020. At the Frye Law Group, we understand how the juvenile justice laws may affect youthful offenders.

First passed into law in 1974, the JJDPA requires states that are eligible for federal funding to follow mandated federal protection guidelines with regard to the treatment and care of juvenile offenders. Since Georgia is a state that receives federal funds through the Act, specific measures concerning the handling of juvenile offenders are being updated in order to remain in compliance.

The new practices under the reauthorized JJDPA for 2020 include:

  • Providing juveniles with alternatives to detention and eliminating unreasonable isolation and restraints
  • Enhancing the sight and sound separation policy to ensure juveniles are not housed in adult detention centers while they are waiting for a legal process or trial
  • Implementing community-enriched programs, such as employment training, crisis intervention and mental health assistance, that service at-risk youth and their families
  • Promoting practices and programs that are trauma-informed and based on evidence
  • Releasing juvenile offenders from detention within seven days if they are found to be in violation of a court order
  • Identifying, analyzing and documenting how the state addresses the disparities of ethnic and racial minorities

When a young person makes a mistake and violates the law, he or she deserves an opportunity to learn from that error and avoid a repeat offense. Even a minor violation, such as a drug or alcohol misdemeanor, could possibly affect future employment and academic choices. Remaining knowledgeable of up-to-date information regarding justice and juvenile matters may play an important role in ensuring a child’s well-being. Visit our website to learn more.