HB 679

85(R) - 2017
House Juvenile Justice & Family Issues
House Juvenile Justice & Family Issues
Juvenile Justice

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Positive


Gene Wu

Bill Caption

Relating to prohibiting the use of a mechanical or physical restraint on a child during a judicial proceeding in the juvenile court.

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.

Bill Analysis

This bill would prevent a mechanical or physical restraint from being used on children in a proceeding before a juvenile court, except for very select circumstances. If a court finds it necessary to restrain a child it must be to prevent physical injury to the child or another, and because the child has a history of disruptive courtroom behavior that has placed others in potentially harmful situations. In the case that a restrain needs to be used, it must be the last restrictive restraint that is effective enough to prevent injury or escape. If this bill passes, the child’s attorney would be given an opportunity to be heard before the court may order the use of mechanical or physical restraints. 

Vote Recommendation Notes

A limited government is careful to protect the due process rights of citizens, including the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. Children should not, unless they are specifically and credibly deemed to be a danger to the health and safety of themselves and others, be paraded into a courtroom in restraints. This can imply the presumption of guilt.

Furthermore, child defendants should not be treated in the same way as violent adult criminals. 

We support this legislation for its affirmation of due process and individual liberty.