The Justice Department says it “strongly supports” the Senate's Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2009, reports Youth Today. The letter, Justice's first public statement on the legislation, was sent less than a week before today’s initial hearing on reauthorization by the House Education and Labor Committee.
The Senate passed its version of the reauthorization in January. It includes a phased elimination of the Valid Court Order provision, which now permits detention of youths for status offenses, and increases funding authorizations for several of the juvenile justice spending lines. A Justice Department letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) says department favors strengthening some portions of the bill, specifically those that “enhance the bill's effectiveness and the ability of the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) to implement its provisions.” Leahy said the bill “pushes forward new ways to help children move out of the criminal justice system, return to school, and become responsible, hard-working members of our communities.”