Carroll County Attorney Joins Other Law Enforcement Members In Applauding Changes To Juvenile Programs Bill

Carroll County Attorney, John Werden, joins more than 5,000 other law enforcement officials in applauding the United States Senate for reauthorizing a bill on Monday that will strengthen existing law and fund juvenile programs. Sheriff’s, Police Chiefs and Prosecutors with Fight Crime: Invest in Kids say the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) will reflect new research as one of the ways it will strengthen existing laws and provide support to programs that help prevent juvenile offenders from becoming adult criminals. “This new legislation ultimately will result in fewer young people on the path to adult crime and prison,” Werden says. “That’s a winning situation for everyone involved.” Research has shown that placing low-to-moderate offenders into custody is actually a detriment to public safety and counterproductive to rehabilitation. One study found that 91 percent of juveniles facing custody saw reduced re-offender rates when diverted to local youth programs. Werden says, “We couldn’t have done it without the leadership of Iowa’s own Senator Chuck Grassley leading the charge.” He adds that it is critical for communities to have the tools necessary to help troubled youth get the coaching and assistance they need to become productive members of society. These interventions are estimated to save the public between $6,000 and $26,000 per youth served on the estimated $88,000 average cost of one year of incarceration. The House of Representatives passed similar legislation earlier this year and now both bills will head to Congress for approval.