ACLU Urges Senate Judiciary Committee to Close School-to-Prison Pipeline

July 31, 2008 12:00 am

Media Contact
125 Broad Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
United States

Congress Should Ban Detention Of Non-Criminal Juveniles


Contact: 202-675-2312,

Washington, DC – The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled today to mark up S. 3155, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2008 (JJDPA), a bill setting standards and providing funding to protect the rights of juveniles in the criminal justice system.

The following can be attributed to Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:

“We support the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2008 (JJDPA), which provides states and local governments with standards and resources to improve juvenile justice. The Senate bill is an opportunity for real reform to the juvenile justice system.

“Today the Senate Judiciary Committee should ban the incarceration of runaways, truants and other juvenile non-criminals. In detention, these young people are at risk of physical and sexual abuse. Studies have shown that there are better alternatives to confinement and more appropriate interventions that could draw juveniles away from the school-to-prison pipeline and towards becoming productive members of society.”

JJDPA actually prevents the detention of status offenders. However, many juveniles are in custody for violating a court order. Congress must eliminate the loophole in the law.

By completing this form, I agree to receive occasional emails per the terms of the ACLU’s privacy policy.

The latest in Smart Justice

ACLU's Vision

The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.

Learn More About Smart Justice

Smart Justice issue image

The ACLU Campaign for Smart Justice is an unprecedented, multiyear effort to reduce the U.S. jail and prison population by 50% and to challenge racism in the criminal legal system.