Counseling should be a part of any juvenile crime reforms

The unlikely partnership between Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Rand Paul (R-KY) to push for criminal justice reforms is getting a lot of kudos.

The pair introduced the REDEEM Act on Tuesday. The proposed legislation would keep juveniles out of adult criminal courts by encouraging states to increase the age of criminal responsibility to 18.

Other key components would: restrict the use of solitary confinement for children; allow for automatically expunging or sealing records of juveniles — depending on their ages — who commit nonviolent offenses; restore access to government benefits for certain low-level adult drug offenders, and offer adults a way to seal criminal records of nonviolent offenders.

Both of these senators are seen as “rising stars” in their respective parties. Their collaboration on an issue that has been pushed by civil rights and civil liberties groups for years suggest that politicians are no longer cowered by the “soft-on-crime” label.

But not everyone is impressed.


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