Task Force to Look at Changes to State Juvenile Justice System to Make Juveniles Safer

Image via governor.pa.gov.

A Task Force will study how to make the state’s juvenile justice system safer for youth assigned to it, writes Lisa Gartner for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf announced Dec. 16 that the task force of state lawmakers, county judges and members of the Pew Charitable Trust will spend the next year studying the problem.

They will deliver policy recommendations to Wolf and the legislature by Nov. 30, 2020.

His recently commissioned Council on Reform identified justice-involved youth as a vulnerable population.

“With this task force, we can thoroughly review our juvenile justice system and find ways to make lasting change that ensures every young Pennsylvanian is getting the support needed to grow into a successful adult,” Wolf said.

In February, an Inquirer investigation exposed routine abuse at the Glen Mills Schools by counselors. A second investigation showed state oversight failed to stop the abuse for decades.

In July, Wolf signed an executive order to overhaul the state’s licensing and monitoring of juvenile programs.

Pew said it will analyze how and why children enter Pennsylvania’s juvenile justice system, review state regulations and practices, and ultimately recommend policy changes, at no cost.

Read more about the new task force here.

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