Senator Kenneth P. LaValle expressed concern that legislation passed by Senate Democrats would allow dangerous juveniles back into communities. “I am not opposed to providing programs or services that would help deter criminal behavior, but I believe that such programs should be provided in a controlled environment,” said Senator LaValle.
According to Senator LaValle, the measure passed by the Senate Democrats encourages the use of community based services as an alternative to detention for young people awaiting trial. This change in protocol would allow dangerous youngsters to remain involved in the very neighborhoods that were threatened by their behavior.
Senator LaValle noted that, while he opposed the detention alternative measure, he did support a separate bill that would provide vocational training for adolescents in juvenile justice facilities. This measure would create a pilot program through which juvenile offenders would receive job training that will help them develop skills and encourage a positive lifestyle once they leave the facility.
“I believe that the way to help these children stay away from trouble is to remove them from that environment and provide them with experiences that allow them to be in control their lives,” concluded Senator LaValle.