Proposals for a juvenile code re-write were approved Wednesday by Georgia’s state Senate Judiciary Committee, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Last month, the state House passed House Bill 242 (HB 242) with unanimous approval. The proposed legislation would eliminate the jailing of juveniles for status offenses such as truancy, as well as re-categorize designated felonies into two classes, based on the severity of crimes committed by young people.
Before approving HB 242, the committee altered elements of the bill, most significantly, changing a requirement that extended the timeframe for which detained status offenders were guaranteed hearings. Originally, the bill required hearings for status offenders within 24 hours of being detained; however, the committee revised the period to 72 hours, citing concerns for staffers who may not be able to provide services for young people over weekends or on holidays.
The committee also revised the effective date of the proposed legislation, pushing it back by six months; pending Senate approval and authorization by Gov. Nathan Deal, the legislation would now take effect on Jan. 1, 2014.
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