New bill keeping more adults in juvenile rehabilitation facilities may further overburden the system
Feb 07, 2017
2/7/17 After years of downsizing in juvenile rehabilitation, will new bill worsen the problem? Federation Lobbyist Matt Zuvich told a Senate committee Tuesday (Feb. 7) a new bill keeping more adults in juvenile rehabilitation facilities may further overburden the system.
SB 5613 would allow youth convicted as adults to stay in juvenile institutions up to age 25 before transferring to the Department of Corrections. Right now the age limit is 21.
Supporters cite neurocognitive research that the longer stays will increase offenders' chances of successful rehabilitation.
But Zuvich said our juvenile rehabilitation members are concerned the problem of increasing population will get worse after years of downsizing. Maple Lane School closed in recent years. Now the administration wants to close Naselle Youth Camp, a move Zuvich said "would be disastrous."
Staff and resources would be needed, too.
"Don't make this an unfunded mandate," Zuvich told the Senate Human Services, Mental Health and Housing Committee.
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