Two bills increasing the authority of the Department of Juvenile Services, allowing the department to decide where a youth would be placed and increasing access to a juvenile’s records, will be heard in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee Thursday.
SB 245 would first amend the law that currently allows judges in the juvenile court system to designate what type of facility should accommodate a youth, now making the decision entirely up to DJS officials.
The bill would also allow the department to change the placement of a youth within the system, notifying the court, a child’s counsel and parent/guardian within seven days of the move.
A third provision would allow the court to conduct a hearing to review the placement of a youth at any time.
SB 247 would allow DJS to gain more access to a youth’s records, including court records or fingerprints. The bill would make it easier for the department to obtain these records, as well as expand who it can share this information with.