New rules approved on placing delinquents

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The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has adopted new rules to ensure that juveniles adjudicated delinquent and ordered into placement have been sent there appropriately.

The changes in the state's Appellate Court Procedural Rules go into effect in 60 days.

Under the new rules, attorneys who represent juveniles sent to detention or residential facilities may seek review of the order within 10 days.

Any answer must be filed within 10 days of that.

The court must then file "a brief statement of the reasons for the determination" or provide point in the record to the place where the reasons for placement can be found.

The quick turn-around time is to ensure the placement is reviewed in a timely manner, since appeals can go on for many months, the courts explained.

The changes came about as a result of the Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice which reviewed the circumstances around the "kids for cash" scandal in Luzerne County.

Two judges there were sentenced to federal prison for taking millions of dollars in kickbacks from two for-profit youth detention centers. In exchange, the judges sent juveniles appearing before them to serve sentences in those facilities.

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