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State Juvenile Justice Policies Under Review

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(credit: Annie Potasznik)

(credit: Annie Potasznik)

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AUSTIN (AP) - Texas lawmakers are taking testimony on what changes may be necessary for the state’s juvenile justice system.

The Texas House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence is meeting Tuesday morning to consider the rules for sentencing 17-year-olds as adults in criminal cases. Last year lawmakers loosened the rules for sentencing minors in capital murder cases to comply with a U.S. Supreme Court. But some advocates think more changes are needed.

The Texas Senate Criminal Justice Committee will meet in the afternoon to study how the juvenile detention system is operating. Lawmakers recently moved to shut down most of the state’s juvenile detention centers, but the state is still struggling with how to deal with those suffering from severe behavioral problems.

The lawmakers will use what they learn Tuesday next year’s legislative session.

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