Lawmakers, Educators, Prosecutors And More Will Study Pa.’s Juvenile Justice Issues

Katie Meyer, WESA 90.5 Pittsburgh •

Some of the last big changes Pennsylvania made to its juvenile justice system came almost a decade ago, after the “kids for cash” scandal in which judges in Luzerne County took bribes for keeping minors in private detention facilities.

Those reforms made sure kids had defense attorneys at hearings, among other things.

But since then, there have been calls for further change. They’ve mounted in the last year, in the wake of the Philadelphia Inquirer’s reports on systemic physical abuse in Glen Mills, a reform school for boys.

The state has since closed the school.

But a recent report from the nonprofit Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia urged lawmakers to do more—like cutting down detention terms for children who are under 14, or have committed nonviolent crimes or minor parole violations.

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