PREVIEW: Former troubled teen turned juvenile justice commissioner explains reforms

05/07/2014 11:57 AM

One of the more sweeping bills to make it through the 2014 General Assembly was the juvenile justice system reforms, championed by key lawmakers and officials like Hasan Davis, the Juvenile Justice Commissioner.

Davis announced his resignation in early April and hoped to see his efforts fully come to pass in the form of more guidance and less punishment in detention centers for status offenses. Status offenders are minors who get in trouble for doing things that are only illegal by virtue of their age, such as skipping school or running away from home.

The final version of the reform bill did not include a key recommendation of preventing judges from sentencing status offenders to juvenile detention centers, but it did involve creating intervention response teams meant to help address the root problems of troubled teens.

Davis himself faced challenges as a teen, including arrests and expulsions from alternative school. But he said he discovered the will to change and has learned to use those personal experiences to help others do the same.

Davis told Pure Politics’ Nick Storm why he believes the legislation passed during the 2014 general session is a positive first step.

Here’s a preview:

Watch the full interview tonight on Pure Politics at 7:00 and 11:30 p.m. ET.


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