“If we want to truly reform the juvenile justice system, we need to invest in our children,” said Senator Spilka. “I am honored to work with such a caring, compassionate community of juvenile justice reform advocates in Massachusetts. I look forward to continuing the work to create a society where more children have opportunities to learn and succeed.”
|Scott Harshbarger, former Massachusetts Attorney General and Senior Counsel at Proskauer Rose LLC; Senator Karen Spilka; Naoka Carey, Executive Director, Citizens for Juvenile Justice|
“Senator Spilka is an exceptional leader on behalf of young people in the Commonwealth,” said Naoka Carey, Executive Director of Citizens for Juvenile Justice. “As a result of her work, thousands of children and families are benefiting from a more effective, more community-based system of services. Seventeen year olds who once faced time in adult jails are now receiving far more appropriate services in our juvenile justice system. She is as compassionate as she is tenacious.”
Scott Harshbarger, former Massachusetts Attorney General and Senior Counsel at Proskauer Rose LLC, and a group of young people from the Teens Leading The Way advocacy coalition presented the award to Senator Spilka. Senator Spilka is working closely with Teens Leading the Way on legislation related to the expungement of juvenile criminal records, to give young people a chance to learn from their mistakes and the clean slate they need to pursue jobs, higher education and stable, productive lives as adults.
|Scott Harshbarger, former Massachusetts Attorney General and Senior Counsel at Proskauer Rose LLC; Senator Karen Spilka; Teens Leading the Way youth|
In 2013, the Legislature passed legislation to raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction by one year, bringing 17-year-olds into the juvenile justice system. Raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction acknowledges that teenagers have unique developmental needs and gives young people the chance to receive the support services they need to get back on track and succeed in the future.
In the 2015-2016 legislative session, Senator Spilka is working with juvenile justice reform advocates on an omnibus bill to address a wide array of reforms, including expungement.