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Hassan vetoes bill to revive juvenile justice board

Gov. Maggie Hassan vetoed a bill yesterday that would have revived a long-dormant juvenile justice advisory board.

The legislation, brought by Republican Sen. Sharon Carson, would have expanded the size and scope of the board, which met last year for the first time in nearly a decade. Carson has reportedly received numerous complaints from staff about conditions at the Sununu Youth Development Center, the state’s juvenile detention center in Manchester.

Hassan said in a statement that the original bill was “well intentioned,” but that a last-minute change had rendered it unacceptable. The change, she said, would have reversed a decision two years ago to incorporate the juvenile justice division into the Department of Health and Human Services.

“That integration has not always been smooth, and it has also been challenged by legislatively mandated budget cuts specific to the Sununu Center,” Hassan said. “But, as the Legislature decided just two years ago, there is significant value in integrating our system for helping children in need, and moving away from an institutional/incarceration model to the extent possible.”

(Jeremy Blackman can be reached at 369-3319, jblackman@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @JBlackmanCM.)

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