Thursday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

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At OJJDP Experts Address Best Ways to Tackle Issue of Underage Drinking, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange

“I don’t need to tell you that alcohol use by young people is dangerous,” said Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Administrator Robert Listenbee at a webinar held this week by the Interagency Coordination Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking (ICCPUD.)

In a recorded message, Listenbee said alcohol is the most commonly used and abused drug in the United States, stating that it played prominently in the nation’s youth homicide, suicide and violent crime rates. He also said that underage drinking has deleterious effects on education, leads many chronic users to unemployment and underemployment and may result in individuals graduating to more potent — and perhaps illegal — substances.

Two Major Juvenile Justice Bills Passed in Illinois Senate, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange

On Tuesday, Illinois state senators passed two bills with potentially profound implications on the state’s juvenile justice system.

By a 40-10 vote, the Illinois Senate passed House Bill 2404, which would place young people in the state charged with felonies under the jurisdiction of juvenile courts as opposed to the adult system.

Currently, 17-year-olds in Illinois charged with felonies are automatically tried as adults. If the bill is signed into law, such youth would instead be tried, initially, in juvenile courts, where judges have greater ability to avoid handing out sentences that entail incarceration.

Natrona County Launches Juvenile Justice Data Collection Pilot Program, Casper Star Trubune

JACKSON — A program that organizes information on juvenile offenses in Natrona County may grow and help law enforcement efforts across Wyoming.

Software that makes it easier to collate the data was integrated into the program this year, and Park, Campbell, Sweetwater and Laramie counties expect to implement the program, according to Natrona County Assistant District Attorney Brian Christensen.

Christenson reported on the program’s progress to the Wyoming Legislature’s Joint Judiciary Interim Committee as it met in Jackson on Tuesday.

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