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Donato recognized for bill to help troubled children

Posted by Matt Byrne  April 5, 2012 10:04 AM

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donato.jpgThe Children's League of Massachusetts recognized Representative Paul Donato of Medford and Senator Karen Spilka of Framingham for their efforts to reform emergency services for children.

Spilka and Donato are cosponsors of a bill to reform the system used by law enforcement to identify children who require assistance or police intervention.

If successful, the bill would eliminate much of the court-based juvenile system and replace it with community and school-oriented service providers.

Previously, a special warrant, called a Child in Need of Services order, would give police license to take into custody truant or troubled youth, entering them unnecessarily into the criminal justice system.

If enacted, the law would prevent children from being confined in shackles or court lockups, Department of Youth Services custody, or other forms of involuntary detention.

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