Home News Center West Virginia Passes Member-Authored Truancy Reform Bill

West Virginia Passes Member-Authored Truancy Reform Bill

April 9, 2015
Zoe Schein

juvenile-justice-reform_truancy_WVThe West Virginia legislature recently passed a bill (H.B. 2550) to reform the state’s response to truancy, an issue which is directly tied to West Virginia's high rates of youth incarceration. The American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia (an NJJN member) reports that 40 percent of all young people in juvenile court are referred for skipping school, helping to fuel a 255 percent increase in the rate of youth confinement for truancy in the past decade. 

In response to this issue, the ACLU of West Virginia, in partnership with the National ACLU, authored a bill that will require school-based interventions to be made before schools can refer young people to court for truancy. It also doubles the number of unexcused absences needed to trigger a court referral.  The bill was signed by Governor Tomblin on March 26, 2015. 

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