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Senator Dennis Egan’s Youth Courts Funding Bill Signed into Law

SB 257 provides a stable source of state funds for youth courts.

Monday, June 28, 2010, Juneau, Alaska – SB 257, legislation sponsored by Senator Dennis Egan, D-Juneau, to fund youth courts was signed into law by Governor Sean Parnell today.

Senator Egan said that including youth in the juvenile justice system is an innovative—and highly effective—approach to juvenile justice. There are presently 12 Youth Courts in Alaska ranging from Ketchikan to Nome. With this legislation, it is hoped that more Youth Courts will be formed.

“Alaska has one of the strongest Youth Courts statutes in the United States, and youth courts work,” Senator Egan stated. “Only ten percent of youth that go through these programs reoffend.”

Senate Bill 257 provides a stable source of state funding for Alaska’s youth courts. The bill provides that criminal fines go to youth courts, saving the state around $10,000 per offender.

“It’s a common sense issue,” Senator Egan added. “Using criminal fines to pay for crime prevention makes sense.”

Senator Egan introduced Senate Bill 257 in January. A companion bill by Representative Cathy Munoz, R-Juneau, was introduced in the House.

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