- School-to-Prison Pipeline — Limits Placed on the Filing of Juvenile Delinquency Petitions by New Hampshire Schools: Under a new law, HB 433, New Hampshire schools are now required to try to resolve cases of student misbehavior through educational interventions before filing juvenile delinquency petitions, unless an incident presents a “serious threat to school safety,” such as acts involving weapons, controlled substances, sexual assault, or serious bodily injury. School officials—including school resource officers—must attempt to resolve behavioral problems through the school discipline process and engagement of the student’s parents or guardians. If these attempts fail, schools must include in their petition the efforts they have made and the reasons why court intervention is needed. The law includes additional procedural requirements when schools file petitions against youth with disabilities and IEPs (individualized education plans). H.B. 433/Act No. 2013-0198, signed into law July 9, 2013; effective January 1, 2014.
- Youth in the Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Systems — Children in Need of Services Petitions May Now Include Delinquency Offenses: New Hampshire expanded eligibility for its Children in Need of Services (CHINS) program. Youth under the age of 18 who have committed offenses that are considered delinquent acts may now be eligible for a CHINS petition, allowing them and their families to receive support services and treatment from the state without youth entering the delinquency system. S.B. 349/Act No. 110, signed into law and effective May 29, 2012.
- Conditions of Confinement — State Limits Use of Child Restraint Practices: Schools and juvenile facilities in New Hampshire may no longer use physical restraints or containment techniques that could endanger a youth, use chemical restraints, intentionally inflict pain on a child, or unnecessarily subject youth to ridicule, humiliation, or emotional trauma. Restraints may never be used “explicitly or implicitly” as punishment for a youth’s behavior. The law also establishes procedures for notice and record keeping on the use of restraints and review of restraint use by both the Department of Education and the Department of Health. Lastly, the law limits the use of mechanical restraints during transport and in the courtroom. S.B. 396/Ch. 375, signed into law July 26, 2010; effective July 26, 2010 and September 1, 2010.
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