H.R. 4123 (113th Congress 2013-2014) — Prohibiting Detention of Youthful Status Offenders Act of 2014 — would amend the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 by eliminating the provision that allows status offenders to be detained in secure juvenile detention facilities for violation of a valid court order, the so-called Valid Court Order Exception. Normally, status offenders may not be placed in secure detention facilities under both federal law and the Indiana juvenile code, unless the child violated a valid court order.
The related statutes in Indiana, IC 31-37-22-5 and IC 31-37-22-6, allow the juvenile court to modify a dispositional order of children who were issued written warning of consequences for running away or failing to attend school, and the children then violated the dispositional order by running away or failing to attend school again. When the child is detained for running away or truancy again, the juvenile court must hold a modification hearing within twenty-four (24) hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays. Following the hearing, to continue to hold the child in a secure detention facility, the juvenile court must find that the child’s mental and physical condition may be endangered if the child is not placed in a secure facility.
For additional information in support of the proposed amendment, see the Campaign for Youth Justice and the National Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Coalition.