By Ashton Marra
Governor Tomblin’s task force working to reform the state’s juvenile justice system met for the first time in Charleston today. The group of some 30 members is tasked with presenting legislative recommendations before the end of the year.
The task force is made up of people with various backgrounds incorporating all three branches of government.
It’s been about a year and a half since the legislature passed Tomblin’s justice reinvestment act, which so far has reduced the state’s adult prison population by 5 percent and saved about 16 million dollars.
Now, Tomblin is asking a new task force to take on the juvenile system, focusing on reducing the population and treating kids in their neighborhoods rather than locked away in institutions.
“What we’re hoping to do, first of all, prevent the infractions of law that our juveniles are committing and if they’re already in the system, try to get them back on track as far as education goes and make them productive members,” said Tomblin.
The task force will meet several times over the coming months with the goal of having recommendations ready by December 1.