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Juvenile justice review aims to keep more kids out of prison

Charleston Daily Mail
A national nonprofit tasked with improving public policy plans to help West Virginia examine jailed young adults in order to craft policies that will keep them out of prison. The Pew Charitable Trusts announced Tuesday it will work with Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, the state Supreme Court, legislative leadership and others to review West Virginia’s juvenile justice system in an effort to provide data-driven suggestions for improvement. “We will encourage collaboration and cooperation and develop data and research driven policies to better serve our kids, and prepare them to become contributing members of society,” Tomblin said Wednesday morning at a press conference in the Capitol. That includes evaluating current efforts by not only the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety — which oversees juvenile justice — but also the Department of Health and Human Resources and the Department of Education. Tomblin said the state also could examine paying to send certain juvenile offenders to other states because of a lack of proper care in West Virginia, a costly practice that has received increased scrutiny from lawmakers during recent legislative sessions. Read more