UBJJ Legislative Session Recap: General Session 2021

Below is information on the outcome of some of the bills UBJJ was closely following during the 2021 legislative session.

HB285 - Juvenile Recodification *PASSED*

Main changes:

  • Establishes Title 80- Utah Juvenile Code in statute

  • Reorganizes Juvenile Court and Juvenile Justice Services statute

Link to HB285

HB158 – Juvenile Interrogation Amendments *PASSED*

Main changes:

  • Requires that a person under 18 years old needs a parent, guardian, or "friendly adult" to be present if they wish to waive their constitutional right to interrogation. The parent, guardian, or "friendly adult" must give permission in order for the child to be interrogated.

Link to HB158

SB050 – Juvenile Offender Penalty Amendments *PASSED*

Main changes:

  • If an individual is sentenced in District Court for certain sexual offenses which were committed while the they were a juvenile: they are not required to register on the sex and kidnap offender registry, they will be sentenced consistent with the disposition that would have been made in juvenile court if they had been adjudicated as a juvenile, and incarceration options are limited.

  • Makes it possible for an individual who is sentenced in District Court for certain sexual offenses which were committed while the they were a juvenile to have the record expunged.

Link to SB050

HB067 – Juvenile Sentencing Amendments *PASSED*

Main changes:

  • Ensures that a youth will be held accountable for their juvenile disposition, and that accountability is not ended or terminated because they commit an additional offense in secure care.

  • Clarifies the independent authority of the Youth Parole Authority to determine termination of youth commitments to secure care

  • Requires a district court to determine whether a sentence will be served concurrently or consecutively to a youth secure care commitment

  • Provides factors court should consider when determining concurrent vs. consecutive sentencing

  • If a sentence is served concurrently with a youth secure care commitment, this bill requires the sentence to be served in a juvenile facility until termination of the secure care commitment.

Link to HB067

HB279 – Higher Education for Incarcerated Youth *PASSED*

Main changes:

  • Paves the way for Dixie State University to develop a program for youth in long-term secure care with JJS to receive virtual higher education opportunities

Link to HB279

HB345 – School Resource Officer Amendments *PASSED*

Main changes:

  • Adds school personnel to the list of the target population for the school-based law enforcement training curriculum

  • Adds the following to the list of training topics the curriculum may include: developing and supporting successful relationships with students, legal parameters of searching and questioning students on school property

Link to HB345

SB219 – Truancy Enforcement Moratorium *PASSED*

Main changes:

  • Decriminalizes certain truancy and compulsory education violations until June 1, 2022

Link to SB219

SB051 – Group Gang Enhancement Amendments *PASSED*

Main changes:

  • Increases provision for enhancement from "two or more persons" to "three or more persons"

Link to SB051

HB073 – Drug Testing Amendments *PASSED*

Main changes:

  • DCFS can no longer require hair or fingernail drug tests for anyone receiving services or anyone who is a party to an abuse, neglect, or dependency proceeding,

Link to HB073

HB410 – Juvenile Justice Amendments *DIDN'T PASS*

Main changes:

  • Requires that a minor who is under the jurisdiction of the District Court for an offense be held in a juvenile detention facility (versus an adult facility)

  • Requires a minor who is committed to prison by the District Court be provisionally housed with JJS (versus prison) until they are 21 years old

Link to HB410

SB080 – Utah Antidiscrimination Act Amendments *DIDN'T PASS*

Had it passed, the bill would've:

  • Amended the Utah Antidiscrimination Act to provide protection for immutable traits and hairstyles historically associated with race

  • People would not have been able to be discriminated against on the basis of their natural hair type or style

Link to SB080

HB330 – Restorative Justice Definition *DIDN'T PASS*

Had it passed, the bill would've:

  • Created a definition of "restorative justice" to provide consistency and clarity for existing sections of the entire code

Link to HB330

Legislation Related to Consent

HB078 - Consent Amendments *DIDN'T PASS*

HB177 - Health Education Amendments *DIDN'T PASS*

Law Enforcement Training Legislation

HB162 - Peace Officer Training Amendments *PASSED*

  • Requires a peace officer's annual training to include training on: mental health and other crisis intervention responses, arrest control, and de-escalation training

HB301 - Domestic Violence Training Amendments *PASSED*

  • Requires POST to create a training program for law enforcement which covers: recognizing domestic violence indicators, providing lethality assessments, and writing reports on DV incidents. Also requires DCFS, DPS, and CCJJ to analyze data on DV and report to the Legislature.

HB334 - Special Needs Training for Law Enforcement Amendments *PASSED*

  • Requires that peace officers have training in intervention responses to autism spectrum disorder and other mental illnesses.

Education Legislation

HB116 - Student Attendance Amendments *PASSED*

  • Prohibits schools from requiring documentation from a medical professional for an absence due to mental or physical illness

HB081 - Mental Health Days for Students *PASSED*

  • Adds mental or behavioral health as a valid excuse for a school absence

HB288 - Education & Mental Health Coordinating Council *PASSED*

  • Creates the Council and requires it to make certain findings and recommendations regarding behavioral health support to youth and families within the state

Appropriations for a School Social Worker Specialist at USBE to coordinate statewide.