INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (ADAMS) – Indiana lawmakers are hoping to save at-risk youth from finding themselves in the juvenile court system. State Representative Donna Schaibley is sponsoring a bill that would help give Hoosier kids tools to have a successful future.
Under Senate Enrolled Act 596, the state would create a voluntary and confidential program for children with behavioral issues. It would offer support services, mentoring, mental health counseling and tutoring for those who have been referred by school staff, police court officials, agencies or concerned parents.
Schaibley says juvenile offenders are more likely to have suffered abuse and are at a higher risk of mental illness and educational problems. Another bill, sponsored by Representative Chuck Goodrich, would create more mentoring opportunities for senior adults while increasing school safety. Under HB 1224, mentors will focus on students struggling with their emotional wellbeing and help connect them to useful resources. The bill’s text allows for these mentors to adapt and serve a school’s individual needs.
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