As part of the ongoing New York State reforms to its juvenile justice system, several new laws were enacted in 2021 that impact juvenile detention and court processing. Specifically, changes were made regarding the following:
• The execution of bench warrants in juvenile delinquency cases
• The adjudication of youth for charges of violations in family court
• The issuance of high school diplomas in certain facilities
• The provision of records upon receipt of a complaint of abuse or neglect of an individual with a disability
• The impact of guilty pleas and the removal of adolescent offender proceedings to the family court
• Raising the lower age of juvenile delinquency jurisdiction from seven to 12 years of age, effective December 29, 2022
At the federal level, the JJDPA supports local and state efforts to prevent delinquency and improve the juvenile justice system. The four core requirements of the JJDPA are: 1) deinstitutionalization of status offenders (removing Persons in Need of Supervision from secure detention or placement); 2) sight and sound separation of detained or placed youth from adult inmates; 3) removal of youth from adult jails; and 4) addressing disproportionate contact of minority youth with the juvenile justice system. The JJDPA was reauthorized in 2018, substantially amending the statutory language. Most notably, the amendments restricted the detention or placement of youth in adult facilities as of December 21, 2021.