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In the 2024 Legislative Session, both Republican and Democratic legislators have introduced several pieces of legislation related to juvenile justice and public safety. The bills follow passage of the 2022 Juvenile Justice Reform Act, focused on reducing incarceration of juveniles, and the 2022 Child Interrogation Protection Act, requiring an attorney consultation and parental notification when a child is taken into custody. Many legislative committees have already held information briefings and hearings on juvenile matters. Here are a few of the proposed bills focused on extended probation periods, mandatory petitions, reforms to child interrogation procedures, and parental liability:

HB309/SB52 Juvenile Justice Restoration Act of 2024 (Del. Kipke, Sen. Folden): Allows parental consent as a substitute for required consultation with an attorney in a juvenile matter, requires juveniles younger than 13 who use firearms in the commission of a crime to come under the jurisdiction of the juvenile justice system, and provides that upon the child’s third arrest for a crime that does not fall under a category of “crime of violence” or a crime committed with a firearm, the child will come under the jurisdiction of the juvenile system.

SB2 – Juvenile Law – Child in Need of Supervision – Mandatory Petition (Sen. Carter): Requiring an intake officer to file a mandatory CINS petition if a child under 13 commits in an offense that results in the death of a victim and to forward a complaint to the Department of Juvenile Services. 

HB313 – Juvenile Law – Probation (Del. Attar): Authorizes the juvenile court to place a child on a term of probation that the court determines appropriate to ensure the child can complete any necessary treatment or services.

SB94 – Juvenile Law – Intake and Probation (Sen. Watson): Alters juvenile intake process to require certain complaints and cases are forwarded to the State’s Attorney, and extending provisions related to the length of certain juvenile probationary periods. 

SB120 – Juvenile Law – Custodial Interrogation – Parental Consultation (Sen. Watson): Replacing a consultation with the child’s parent, guardian, or custodial instead of an attorney before law enforcement may conduct a custodial interrogation of a child.

SB314 – Juvenile Law – Willful Misconduct of a Minor – Civil Liability of a Parent, Legal Guardian, or Custodian (Parental Accountability Act) (Sen. Benson): Assigns civil liability to a parent, guardian, or custodian of a minor who commits an act of willful misconduct resulting in death or injury of an individual or damage to property, generally.

Juvenile justice bill hearings will continue to take place over the coming weeks, including those related to Governor Moore’s proposed legislation to address public safety concerns.  MSBA will continue to update our members on the status and outcome of these bills and MSBA’s advocacy efforts.