Texas Senate OKs Bill Aimed At Keeping Teens Out Of Criminal Justice System

AUSTIN (April 4, 2013)--In a unanimous vote Thursday, the Texas Senate approved a bill that would limit the practice of issuing tickets to juveniles for minor classroom offenses.

One independent study shows that 275,000 non-traffic tickets are issued to juveniles in Texas every year while others show that Black and Latino students are more frequently charged with misdemeanors for acting out in school.

Studies also show those who receive tickets are more likely to enter the juvenile jails.

A panel of judges recommended the changes and support came from civil rights groups and from conservatives swayed by cost savings.

State Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, authored the proposal, which would replace the tickets with counseling and community service.

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