Senate Passes Baker Bills to Bring Reforms to Juvenile Justice System

The state Senate today approved legislation sponsored by Senator Lisa Baker (R-20) to reform the juvenile justice system and protect the fundamental rights of kids entering the system.

“It is hard to imagine anything worse than what happened in Luzerne County,” Baker said. “Today we have moved one step closer to preventing the possibility that such a perversion of justice could be visited on any courtroom in this Commonwealth again.”

Baker’s bills will:

  • Eliminate waiving counsel in juvenile delinquency hearings
  • Create a victim advocate devoted to juvenile justice
  • Require judges to state on the record the reasons behind disposition orders
  • Prohibit shackling of juveniles in the courtroom

Senate Bill 815 – Mandatory Counsel

Senate Bill 816 – Juvenile Justice Advocate

Senate Bill 817 – Shackling

Senate Bill 818 – Dispositional Reasoning on the Record

Contact: Jennifer Wilson
(570) 675-3931