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Senate Approves Juvenile Justice Bill

On August 1, the Senate approved, by unanimous consent, S. 860, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act, sponsored by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA).

The bill would authorize $864.363 million through FY2021 for programs to prevent juvenile delinquency and address the needs of at-risk youth and those in contact with the justice system.

Among other provisions, the bill would amend the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (P.L. 112-166) to require states to “address the needs of girls in or at risk of entering the juvenile justice system, including pregnant girls, young mothers, survivors of commercial sexual exploitation or domestic child sex trafficking, girls with disabilities, and girls of color, including girls who are members of an Indian tribe.”

The measure would require states to eliminate the use of restraints on pregnant juveniles, including during labor, delivery, and post-partum recovery, unless there are credible and reasonable grounds for their use. The legislation also would require states to provide alternatives to detention for juveniles who have, among other offenses, been induced to perform commercial sex acts.

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