Reforming Juvenile Delinquent Custody

In June, the Senate passed Senate Bill 154, which repeals the outdated requirement for the Department of Services for Children, Youth & Their Families (DSCYF) to seek approval before “mixing” youth who have been adjudicated delinquent with youth who do not have a delinquency history in the same facility. 

The vote was 18-3, with only Republican Troglodytes Colin Bonini, Dave Lawson and Bryant Richardson voting no.

The mixing statute was codified in 1987, and since then, DSCYF has developed rigorous safety protocols and uses evidence-based assessments to determine appropriate placements for children in the care of the department.

The current practices of DSCYF have eliminated the need for mixing approval, which in some cases require DSCYF to seek a court order. In addition, the Family Court conducts regular review hearings for youth in DSCYF custody, allowing opportunities for the department, the child’s attorney, the child (if age appropriate), and the judicial officer to monitor many factors relating to the child’s placement, including safety.

This Act retains the prohibition on dependent or neglected children being placed in a detention facility unless charged with or found to have committed a delinquent act.

Senate Bill 154 SponsorsYes VotesNo Votes
Griffith, Baumbach, Brady, Cooke, Heffernan, K.Johnson, Lynn, Minor-Brown, S.Moore, Morrison
Gay, Hansen, SturgeonSenate Passes 18-3. Brown Ennis Gay Hansen Lockman Mantzavinos Paradee Pinkney Poore S.McBride Sokola Sturgeon Townsend Walsh Hocker Lopez Pettyjohn WilsonBonini, Lawson, Richardson
Current Status: House Judiciary Committee 6/18/21

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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