Friday, April 9, 2021
SB 368 Juvenile Justice passed out of the Indiana House of Representatives with an 87-0 vote today! Rep. McNamara, co-sponsor of the bill, advocated for the bill on the House floor, calling the bill “historic.” Be sure to check out the attached Indiana Lawyer article that just came out this week. The good news is, this bill is well on its way to becoming Indiana law!
SB 368 addresses three critical issues for advancing youth justice in Indiana:
- Removal of children from adult jails while awaiting trial in the adult system;
- Juvenile Competency to Stand Trial, so children with mental illness, disabilities or just too young, do not enter the juvenile justice system in order to access services; and
- Automatic Expungement of juvenile misdemeanor records so that collateral consequences do not follow youth, placing barriers to education, employment, joining the military, housing and other essential aspects of life.
SB 368 is authored by Sens. Karen Tallian (D), Jean Breaux (D), Sue Glick (R) and Jim Buck (R)—and includes important policies designed to treat children in an age- and developmentally-appropriate manner, confront systemic racism, disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline, and protect children in the justice system from dangerous and overly punitive practices. Rep. Wendy McNamara (R), along with Reps. Greg Steuerwald (R), Matt Pierce (D) and Ragen Hatcher (D) co-sponsored the bill in the House. Please call or send emails thanking them all, and your own legislators today! You can find the name and contact information for your legislator by visiting http://iga.in.gov/legislative/find-legislators/ or calling (317) 232-9600.
Over 55 organizations and coalitions supported this bill, and countless individuals testified, wrote letters, made calls and sent emails to make this happen.
We thank you all! Your efforts have and are making a critical difference for Indiana children.
Children’s Policy and Law Initiative of Indiana (CPLI)