SECTION 1. Chapter 119 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2014 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting at the end thereof the following new section:
Section 95. (a) For purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
“Juveniles” – Persons appearing before the juvenile court under the age of eighteen in delinquency, children requiring assistance cases, and care and protection cases, and under the age of twenty-one in youthful offender cases.
“Restraints” – Devices that limit voluntary physical movement of an individual, including leg irons and shackles approved by the trial court security department.
(b) There shall be a presumption that restraints shall be removed from juveniles while appearing in a courtroom before a justice of the Juvenile Court.
(c) Restraints may not be used on juveniles during court proceedings and must be removed prior to the appearance of juveniles before the court at any stage of any proceedings, unless the justice presiding in the courtroom issues an order and makes specific findings on the record that restraints are necessary because there is reason to believe that a juvenile may try to escape, or that a juvenile may pose a threat to his or her own safety, or to the safety of other people in the courtroom, or restraints are reasonably necessary to maintain order in the courtroom.
(d) The justice presiding in the courtroom shall consider one or more of the following factors prior to issuance of any order and findings:
1)The seriousness of the present charge (supporting a concern that the juvenile has an incentive to attempt to escape);
2)The prior offense history of the juvenile;
3)Any past disruptive courtroom behavior by the juvenile;
4)Any past behavior by the juvenile that presented a threat to his or her own safety, or the safety of other people;
5)Any present behavior that the juveniles represents a current threat to his or her own safety, or the safety of other people in the courtroom;
6)Any past escapes, or attempted escapes;
7)Risk of flight from the courtroom;
8)Any threats of harm to others, or threats to cause a disturbance; and
9)Security situation in the courtroom and courthouse, including risk of gang violence, or attempted revenge by others.
(e) The court officer charged with custody of a juvenile shall report any security concerns with said juvenile to the justice presiding in the courtroom. The justice presiding in the courtroom may attach significance to the report and recommendation of the court officer charged with custody of the juvenile, but shall not cede responsibility for determining the use of restraints in the courtroom to the court officer. The justice presiding in the courtroom may receive information from the court officer charged with custody of the juvenile, a probation officer, or any source which the court determines in its discretion to be credible on the issue of courtroom or courthouse security.
The decision to use restrains shall be the sole determination of the juvenile court justice who is presiding in the courtroom at the time that a juvenile appears before the court. No juvenile court justice shall impose a blanket policy to maintain restraints on all juveniles, or a specific category of juveniles, who appear before the court.
SECTION 2. Chapter 120 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2014 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after section 10 the following section:-
Section 10B. No person under 18 years of age and committed to the department of youth services shall be placed in involuntary room confinement as a consequence for noncompliance, punishment or harassment or in retaliation for any conduct.
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