Pennsylvania schools refer youth to the juvenile justice system 2.7 times more often than the national average, with wide variation across counties. Children are entering into the juvenile justice system for normal childhood behavior like fighting with peers. Research shows that handling such behavior with school- and community-based resources instead of the court system reduces recidivism and leads to better long-term outcomes for kids. HB 1708 (Reps. Hill-Evans and Mihalek) decreases school-based arrests and referrals, expands school diversion, and increases academic supports for justice-involved students in Pennsylvania.
Contact your PA state legislators and urge them to support this important legislation.