Juvenile Delinquents Are Now 'Justice-Involved Youth'

Susan Jones | November 3, 2015 | 5:37am EST
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The Obama administration is now using the term "justice-involved youth" to describe young criminals. (AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - They used to be called juvenile delinquents. But not any more.

The new term is "justice-involved youth," a non-disparaging, government-speak phrase that fits with the Obama administration's recent push to give people with criminal convictions a second chance to become productive citizens.

"The Department of Justice is committed to giving justice-involved youth the tools they need to become productive members of society," Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a news release on Monday.

Lynch said the Justice Department and the Department of Housing and Urban Development are launching a $1.7-million initiative to help Public Housing Authorities and legal assistance groups "reduce barriers for justice-involved youth."

Through the new Juvenile Re-Entry Assistance Program, DOJ and HUD will work collaboratively "to help individuals that have paid their debt to society rehabilitate and reintegrate back into their communities."

That means young offenders leaving juvenile detention will not necessarily be excluded from public housing, jobs, or higher education.

But second chances have their limits: "This program specifically excludes those who are convicted of making methamphetamine drugs, sex offenses or domestic violence," the news release said.

President Obama traveled to Newark, N.J. on Monday to announce that the federal government and federal contractors will no longer use criminal history to screen out job applicants before their qualifications are considered. "We can't dismiss people out of hand simply because of a mistake that they made in the past," Obama said.

He is using his executive authority to "ban the box" for federal jobs. This is the box that asks if a job applicant has a criminal history.

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