CHAPTER 615

FORMERLY

SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 75

CREATING A TASK FORCE TO CONDUCT A STUDY AND MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS CONCERNING DELAWARE'S JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM.

WHEREAS, in recent years, Delaware policymakers have toughened laws on violent juvenile offenders by making it easier to try cases in Superior Court and by lowering the age for juveniles to be tried in Superior Court for violent crimes; and

WHEREAS, there has been a concurrent increase in the number of juveniles incarcerated in both juvenile detention facilities and in adult correctional facilities in recent years, which mirrors a nationwide trend; and

WHEREAS, while it is often taken for granted by policymakers that getting tougher and harsher on violent youthful offenders will be a more effective way of addressing juvenile crime than emphasizing rehabilitation efforts, it is important to develop empirical evidence to determine what methodologies are indeed most effective and least cost-prohibitive; and

WHEREAS, there are some preliminary studies that suggest that there may be less recidivism among violent juvenile offenders tried in the juvenile court system as opposed to the criminal court system; and

WHEREAS, the General Assembly would benefit from an investigation into the efficacy of Delaware's juvenile justice statutes which would also include comparisons and contrasts with other states, cost-benefits analysis, and input from leading experts and policymakers.

NOW, THEREFORE:

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the 138th General Assembly of the State of Delaware, the House of Representatives thereof concurring therein, that a task force is hereby created to conduct a study and make recommendations to the Delaware General Assembly concerning Delaware's juvenile justice system.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Task Force shall consist of the following members: the Presiding Judge of Family Court or his designee; the Presiding Judge of Superior Court or his designee; the Attorney General of the State of Delaware or her designee; the Director of the Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services or his designee; the chair of the Senate Committee on Children, Youth & Families; the chair of the House Health & Human Development Committee; one member of the Delaware State Senate to be appointed by the President Pro Tempore; one member of the House of Representatives to be appointed by the Speaker of the House; the Chair of the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board or her designee; and two public members with a demonstrated interest in juvenile justice concerns, one each to be appointed by the President Pro Tempore and the Speaker of the I-louse respectively.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that said Task Force will report its findings to the Delaware General Assembly by March 31, 1997.