October 20, 2021

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Virginia may possibly quit trying to get baby assist payments from moms and dads of incarcerated youth | News

Virginia has a legislation on the books that involves the point out Department of Social Products and services to seek child help payments from mothers and fathers of juvenile offenders in custody, ostensibly to assist protect the costs of housing and educating incarcerated youth.

It only provides in about $300,000 to $400,000 per 12 months, a little portion of the Office of Juvenile Justice’s overall funds of around $232 million. But the influence on very low-income people is no smaller matter, advocates say. Which is why state lawmakers are pushing to get rid of the practice completely.

“It exacerbates current racial and ethnic disparities,” said Del. Patrick Hope, D-Arlington, said as he offered his invoice to get rid of the little one assistance rule.

The laws passed the Democratic-led Property of Delegates in a 58-40 vote before this thirty day period, choosing up a handful of Republican votes together the way. It cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday on a bash-line vote and will subsequent head to the Senate Finance Committee.

In committee testimony, advocacy teams have argued the monthly bill only produces extra strain for households, and has very little connection to the intention of rehabilitating youthful offenders.

“It just does not make sense as significantly as assisting that little one be capable to come back to an environment the place they economically can strengthen their condition. And economics has all the things to do with crime,” claimed Kezia Hendricks, who operates a Norfolk-based mostly youth organization known as Youthful Buyers Team.

Amanda Silcox, legislative coordinator for Rise for Youth, a team that promotes choices to youth incarceration, informed legislators it’s “truly outrageous that we have been charging people to incarcerate their small children.”

“We previously know Black and brown youth are disproportionately impacted by our criminal justice system,” Silcox stated. “And this financial load, which is then placed disproportionately on Black and brown people, exacerbates the racial wealth hole and sites a large pressure on households at an already complicated time.”

During the Senate committee hearing, some legislators requested how the bill could have an effect on pre-current youngster assist arrangements in between moms and dads of a youngster taken into DJJ custody.

Barbara Lacina, director of the Department of Social Services’ division of boy or girl assist enforcement, mentioned that beneath the present-day regulation, pre-existing baby help payments shift to DJJ when the little one is taken to the agency’s custody. Underneath the proposed invoice, she claimed, all those payments would alternatively go to “the custodial guardian.”

That prompted a observe-up problem from an incredulous-sounding Sen. Ryan McDougle, R-Hanover, who voted versus the bill.

“If I was having to pay little one aid and my youngster is in the custody of DJJ, I’d continue to be essential to fork out child assist but the other guardian would not have to pay that to the office through the time that they are incarcerated or in custody? Is that precise?,” McDougle explained.

“Yes,” Lacina answered.

If handed, the invoice would terminate current youngster assistance orders dealing with payments to DJJ, with no wiping cleanse excellent money owed owed as of June 30.