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District of Columbia

Contact Information

The Juvenile Justice Initiative (JJI) at the Georgetown University Juvenile Justice Clinic seeks to raise the level of practice among juvenile defenders, both regionally and nationally.

Primary Contact Name: Eduardo Ferrer
Position: Policy Director
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 202-643-6870
Website: www.dcly.org
Twitter: @GeorgetownJJI
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GeorgetownJJI/


Legislation

Bill Number: B-451 Youth Rehabilitation Amendment Act of 2017

Type of Reform

Sentencing Reform - Required the Mayor to provide developmentally appropriate facilities, services, care, subsistence, education, treatment, training, segregation, and protection for youth offenders convicted of misdemeanor offenses and those pending trial or convicted of felony offenses. It also required the Mayor to develop and submit to the Council a strategic plan for providing the facilities and services for youth offenders.

Year: 2018

Bill: Number: 21-0683 Comprehensive Youth Justice Amendment Act of 2016

Type of Reform

Jail Removal and Sentencing Reform - This legislation substantially limited the use of solitary confinement of youth; removed children from DC's adult jail by transferring the custody of children charged as adults to the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services; prohibited the secure detention of status offenders; enacted reforms to record sealing; enabled the increased use of diversion and restorative justices practices; allowed for youth already sentenced to extremely long sentences as adults to have their sentences reviewed by a judge after 20 years of being in jail; strengthened the presumption against the pre-trial detention of youth; prohibited the shackling of any youth known to be pregnant; required the District to study the root causes of delinquency; and enabled the District to better evaluate the efficacy of the services it provides to youth in the delinquency system.

Year: 2016


Reports

The District of Columbia Youth Rehabilitation Amendment Act: An Analysis Briefing Document (2017)

On December 22, 2016, Mayor Muriel Bowser requested that the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) conduct analysis of the Youth Rehabilitation Amendment Act (YRA) with respect to how the YRA is applied; recidivism of those to whom it is applied; and whether or not the rehabilitative programming offered to YRA recipients is successful. 

The analysis focuses on individuals who were eligible for a YRA sentence and whose cases were disposed during calendar years 2010, 2011, and 2012. This timeframe was selected in order to determine recidivism rates for YRA eligible persons within two (2) years after they completed their sentences.

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D.C. Prisoners: Conditions of Confinement in the District of Columbia (June 2015)

This report discusses the dreadful conditions faced by those housed in D.C. jail facilities, including vermin and pest infestations, heightened suicide rates, a crumbling physical infrastructure replete with leakages and mold, and an understaffed and undertrained correctional staff. In a specific paragraph, it highlights, in particular, the specific issues youth encounter because of these horrible conditions, and because of the inadequacy of the facilities for such young people.

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Capital City Correction: Reforming DC's Youth Incarceration System

Reforming DC's Youth Incarceration System (2014) provided by the CFYJ and DCLY interviews the general public in order to determine their opinions on the treatment of youth in the adult criminal system. The study determined that the public now believes that youth who are awaiting trial should be held in youth facilities rather than in adult jail. They also believe that youth should be rehabilitated rather than simply incarcerated. Rehabilitation should provide the youth with skills to help them be productive members of society when they are released. The public also rejects placing youth in adult facilities as a means of rehabilitation.

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