Virginia would possibly cease in search of little one assist funds from mother and father of incarcerated youth | Information

Virginia has a law on the books that requires the State Department of Social Services to require parents of detained juvenile offenders to receive child child support, ostensibly to help cover the costs of housing and educating detainees.

It only brings in about $ 300,000 to $ 400,000 a year, a tiny fraction of the Department of Juvenile Justice’s total budget of roughly $ 232 million. However, the impact on low-income families is no mean feat, proponents say. Therefore, state lawmakers are pushing to get rid of the practice altogether.

“It exacerbates existing racial and ethnic differences,” said Del. Patrick Hope, D-Arlington when he presented his bill getting rid of the child support rule.

The legislation passed the Democrat-led House of Representatives earlier this month by 58-40 votes, taking in a handful of Republican votes. It voted the Senate Justice Committee on Monday on a party line and will next chair the Senate Finance Committee.

In the committee’s statements, interest groups have argued that the bill only creates more burdens for families and has little to do with the goal of rehabilitating young offenders.

“It just doesn’t make sense to help this child get back into an environment where they can improve their situation economically. And business is all about crime, ”said Kezia Hendricks, who runs a Norfolk-based youth organization called Young Investors Group.

Amanda Silcox, legislative coordinator for RISE for Youth, a group promoting alternatives to youth detention, told lawmakers it was “really outrageous that we accused families of detaining their children”.

“We already know that black and brown youth are disproportionately affected by our criminal justice system,” said Silcox. “And this financial burden, which then applies disproportionately to black and brown families, exacerbates the racial prosperity gap and places an enormous burden on families in an already difficult time.”

During the Senate committee hearing, some lawmakers asked how the bill might affect pre-existing child support arrangements between parents of a child who has been taken into DJJ custody.

Barbara Lacina, director of the Department for Enforcement of Child Allowance at the Ministry of Social Services, said that under the current law, pre-existing alimony payments to DJJ will be shifted once the child is taken into the agency’s care. According to the proposed bill, these payments would instead go to “the caring mother”.

This led to a follow-up question from an incredulous-sounding Senator Ryan McDougle, R-Hanover, who voted against the bill.

“If I were to pay child support and my child is in the care of DJJ, I would still have to pay child support, but the other parent would not have to pay that to the department during the time they are incarcerated or in their care Care? Is that right? Asked McDougle.

“Yes,” replied Lacina.

If passed, the bill would end existing child child support contracts dealing with payments to DJJ without removing any outstanding debt owed as of June 30.

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