Legislature make no movement on releasing dangerous teens | KOB 4
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Legislature make no movement on releasing dangerous teens

Chris Ramirez
February 07, 2018 05:10 PM

SANTA FE, N.M. -- Leaders with the Children Youth and Families Department have concerns some important bills aren't being given a chance. One bill in particular deals with how to handle child criminals when they turn 21.

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Right now, state law forces kids out of the system at their 21st birthday even if they still pose a risk to public safety and are not fully rehabilitated. Nehemiah Griego, who killed five family members when he was 15 years old, is a good example of someone who will be forced out with the public not knowing if he is ready for reintegration.

There are two bills that would end that practice. Two-thirds into the legislative session, they haven't even been debated.

"When bad things happen in this state, people are quick to point fingers and talk about how the system needs to be improved. And they are right, we have to improve the system," CYFD Secretary Monique Jacobson said. "And the legislative session -- whether it's 30 days or 60 days -- that is time when our lawmakers have the ability to impact change in that system.  It's frustrating when we aren't taking advantage of that opportunity."

Legislative leaders say they hear bills in the order they are filed. But with a week left in the session, time is running out.

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Chris Ramirez

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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