HB18-1156 (Lee/Holbert) Limit Penalties for Juvenile Truancy

Originally Posted: March 2, 2018
Last Updated: April 27, 2018

Summary

This bill prohibits a court from placing a child in a juvenile detention facility for truancy. Currently, if a child between the ages of six and 17 has four unexcused absences in a month or 10 unexcused absences during the academic year, a judge may place the child in a juvenile detention facility.

Position

The Children’s Campaign supports the bill. The bill would prohibit the use of juvenile detainment for truancy. We know that students who are introduced into the criminal justice system through detention experience negative impacts on their mental and physical well-being, resulting in such outcomes as depression, suicide and other forms of self-harm.  A recent study conducted in Colorado found that the use of detention in truancy cases is a significant contributor to the likelihood of committing subsequent criminal offenses and makes graduating from high school 14.5 times less likely to occur for detained youth than for truant youth who were not detained. Current law does not address root causes of chronic absences, rather, it penalizes students who may be facing adverse circumstances and challenges creating even more barriers to their success.

Current Status

Passed the Senate on a bipartisan vote of 34-1 and now heads to the governor’s desk for signature

Previous Statuses


March 2, 2018

Assigned to the House Judiciary Committee where it is scheduled to be heard on Tuesday, Mar. 13 at 1:30 in Room 0112

March 9, 2018

Assigned to the House Judiciary Committee where it is scheduled to be heard on Tuesday, Mar. 13 at 1:30 in Room 0112

March 23, 2018

Passed the House Judiciary Committee on a bipartisan vote of 10-1 and now heads to the House floor for debate. Leslie Colwell, our VP of Education Initiatives, testified in support of the bill.

March 30, 2018

Passed the House on a bipartisan vote of 57-4 and now heads to the Senate

April 6, 2018

Assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee where it is scheduled to be heard on Wednesday, Apr. 11 at 1:30pm in Room 352

April 13, 2018

Passed the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously and now heads to the Senate floor, where it will be placed on the consent calendar. Leslie Colwell, our VP of Education Initiatives, testified in support of the bill.

April 20, 2018

Passed second reading on the House floor and now awaits a final vote on the floor