Back in 2013, West Virginia took a long overdue step towards addressing prison overcrowding--and it's paid off. The state's juvenile justice system, meanwhile, is a mess.
That's the bad news .The good news is that an intergovernmental task force has been studying the issue with the help of folks from the Pew Charitable Trusts. Their major findings were released today at a press conference chaired by Gov. Tomblin.
Legislation will be introduced in the 2015 session aimed at reducing the number of juveniles now placed in residential facilities, particularly those held for status offenses, which are actions only considered to be offenses by non-adults.
This is one area child advocates will be pushing in the coming session. I'm hopeful we can make a dent in this problem.