The House and Senate have passed Senate Bill 154, which repeals the outdated requirement for the Department of Services for Children, Youth & Their Families (i.e. the Kids Department) to seek approval before “mixing” youth who have been adjudicated delinquent with youth who do not have a delinquency history in the same facility.
Apparently, the anti-mixing statute is no longer necessary and overly burdensome. The mixing statute went into effect in 1987, and since then, the 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 the Kids Department have eliminated the need for mixing approval, which in some cases require the Departmenet to seek a court order.
In addition, the Family Court conducts regular review hearings for youth in Kids Department 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 bill 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 Sponsors||Yes Votes||No Votes|
|Griffith, Baumbach, Brady, Cooke, Heffernan, K.Johnson, Lynn, Minor-Brown, Moore, Morrison||House Passes 40-0-1. Baumbach Bennett Bentz Bolden Brady Bush Carson Cooke Dorsey-Walker Griffith Heffernan K.Johnson K.Williams Kowalko Lambert Longhurst Lynn Matthews Minor-Brown Mitchell Morrison Osienski S.Moore Schwartzkopf Wilson-Anton Briggs King Collins D.Short Dukes Gray Hensley M.Smith Morris Postles Ramone Shupe Smyk Spiegelman Vanderwende Yearick||Chukwuocha (Absent)|
|Gay, Hansen, Sturgeon||Senate Passed 18-3. Brown Ennis Gay Hansen Lockman Mantzavinos Paradee Pinkney Poore S.McBride Sokola Sturgeon Townsend Walsh Hocker Lopez Pettyjohn Wilson||Bonini, Lawson, Richardson|
|Current Status:||Sent to the Governor.|