The Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee voted to advance HB 1381 today, which YSRP hopes will usher in a more humane era of support and care for youth involved in the criminal legal system.
YSRP, the Justice Lab at Temple Law School and Juvenile Law Center were profiled for their efforts in ending the City of Philadelphia’s decades-long practice of charging parents for the cost of their children’s incarceration in the juvenile justice system. In his March 3, 2017 Marshall Project article Philadelphia Will Stop Billing Parents When Their Children Are Incarcerated, reporter Eli Hager reports that the Philadelphia Department of Human Services moved to end the practice just hours after the initial Marshall Project story was published in The Washington Post. DHS Commissioner Cynthia Figueroa testified at Friday’s special Council Hearing on the department’s decision to end the practice. Writes Hager,
Last year, a group led by the Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project, a nonprofit legal organization that assists juveniles in the justice system, and the Justice Lab at Temple Law School’s Sheller Center brought the issue to the attention of Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney. DHS began rethinking its policy, including seeking guidance from the state. The city made its final determination after reviewing the state’s prepared comments for Friday’s hearing, [Spokeswoman for the Philadelphia Department of Human Services Heather] Keafer said.We applaud the City on taking this major step in ending the harms of this unjust practice on Philadelphia’s families.