The Indiana state legislature recently passed a law setting 12 as the minimum age for a minor to be detained. Furthermore, the bill overhauled how the state oversees and manages juvenile offenders.
These changes affect anyone whose child comes into contact with Indiana’s juvenile criminal justice system. If you have any questions about this law or the justice system in general, our firm is available to answer them.
Indiana Is Implementing Juvenile Justice Reforms
In addition to setting a minimum arrest age of 12, the now-passed House Bill 1359:
- Unifies data collection across Indiana in hopes that lawmakers can better address flaws in the juvenile justice system
- Implements risk assessment tools and encourages proactive measures to help juveniles avoid criminal behavior
- Creates a more consistent approach to the handling and adjudication of cases involving juveniles
The overarching goal is a more compassionate juvenile justice system in Indiana. Juveniles under the age of 12 should not even be detained, let alone arrested unless law enforcement officers have exhausted all other means of resolving the situation.
Juvenile Justice Reforms Resulted from Alarming Stories of Needlessly Incarcerated Youths
Changes to the juvenile justice system in Indiana were long overdue. The bipartisan support of House Bill 1359 shows that locking up minors for low-level offenses is not a political issue but a human one.
WFYI Indianapolis found that, in a single year, 160 youths aged 12 and under experienced detention. With the new law in effect, the hope is that fewer children will have to face the traumatic effects of being in a juvenile detention facility, especially if they are only accused of misdemeanor-level offenses.
The passage of this bill into law represents progress. However, criminal defense attorneys must remain vigilant to ensure that law enforcement officials abide by the terms of these reforms.
Call Razumich & Associates Today to Discuss a Criminal Case Involving a Minor
If your child has had an interaction with the criminal justice system, Razumich & Associates will seek the best possible legal outcome. We know the law, and we will hold law enforcement accountable for violating your child’s rights.
Contact our firm online or call us today at (317) 449-8661 for a free consultation.