Lewis’ bipartisan Juvenile Justice Reform Act passes committee unanimously

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Washington, April 4, 2017 | comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Jason Lewis (MN-02) issued the following statement after H.R. 1809, the Juvenile Justice Reform Act, passed the Education and Workforce Committee unanimously:


““I’ve been talking about criminal justice reform for years — and it starts by ensuring kids have the resources and skills to turn their lives around and grow into productive members of society. We need common-sense reforms to strengthen our juvenile justice system and get our children on the right track.


“The Juvenile Justice Reform Act provides our communities with the ability to offer that second chance to anyone who wants to turn their life around, and improves accountability and oversight of these important systems. I’m proud that these ideas have earned the support of so many of my colleagues today.”


Background: The Juvenile Justice Reform Act (JJRA) is a major, bipartisan bill with broad support in the House and the Senate. Lewis, who has advocated criminal justice reform for years, is leading the JJRA efforts in the House alongside Chairman Fox and Ranking Member Scott.  


A wide coalition of groups from the Council for a Strong America to the National Parent Teacher Association support juvenile justice reform. Lewis believes delinquent youth need a rehabilitative and positive interaction with the justice system to get back on the right track, including prioritizing what works by focusing on evidence based strategies and limiting detention of ‘status’ offenders; minors who skip school, run away from home, etc.


The JJRA specifically protects at-risk groups, including girls who have survived human trafficking and pregnant juveniles. The bill gives flexibility to states and local communities to best meet the needs of delinquent youth and improve public safety, including requiring judges to consider whether it’s ‘in the interest of justice’ for a juvenile awaiting an adult trial to be held in an adult detention facility. Through the JJRA, Lewis will work to improve accountability and oversight to deliver positive outcomes for our communities and protect taxpayers



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