Casey, Durbin, Scanlon, Armstrong introduce legislation to protect young people from abuse in correctional facilities

WASHINGTON — US Senators Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and US Representatives Mary Gay Scanlon, D-Pa.-5, and Kelly Armstrong, R-ND-Ala., introduced legislation to create better avenues of recourse for young people who have suffered abuse in correctional facilities.

The Justice for Juveniles Act would exempt anyone under the age of 22 from the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), which, among other things, currently requires juveniles to resolve complaints through the correctional facility’s internal grievance procedures before filing a lawsuit. Oftentimes this forces juveniles to seek help from the very individuals their complaints are against, leaving them vulnerable to retaliation. The Justice for Juveniles Act would open the courthouse doors to ensure that juveniles are able to seek justice and protection in our federal courts.

“Our criminal justice system is in need of major reforms, especially for our youth. Too often, abused and harassed children in detention centers are forced to seek help from the very same people who are abusing and harassing them with few alternatives for recourse,” Senator Casey said. “With the Justice for Juveniles Act, I’m fighting to ensure juveniles in detention centers can seek help without fear of retaliation so we can change the trajectories of these young lives.”

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