Texas State Rep. Talarico files bill with plans to dissolve Texas Juvenile Justice Department

Texas State Representative James Talarico has announced new legislation that aims to dissolve and replace the Texas Juvenile Justice Department. He says that the legislation intends to fundamentally change the state's approach to juvenile justice.

Joined by youth advocates, Talarico announced House Bill 4356 which would dissolve the Texas Juvenile Justice Department by 2030 and replace it with the Office of Youth Safety and Rehabilitation.

Talarico says by using the savings from closing child prisons, the new office would build a system to rehabilitate kids closer to home which would include secure rehab centers for kids deemed a risk to themselves or others.

The legislation would change the state's approach to juvenile justice by refocusing efforts from incarceration and towards rehabilitation.

"Child prisons are a failed policy experiment," said Talarico. "The trauma of incarceration makes kids MORE likely to commit crime, not less. I’m proud to file House Bill 4356 to close all child prisons in Texas by 2030 and create a system to rehabilitate kids."

Talarico outlined the plans at a press conference Thursday, March 9 from the Texas State Capitol.