Much like the term ‘illegal immigrants’ became politically incorrect, so too has ‘juvenile delinquent,’ apparently.
The Obama administration is now referring to this group of individuals as “justice-involved youth.’
In a news release on Monday, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the DOJ is “committed to giving justice-involved youth the tools they need to become productive members of society.”
Lynch said the Justice Department and the Department of Housing and Urban Development are launching a $1.7-million initiative to help Public Housing Authorities and legal assistance groups "reduce barriers for justice-involved youth."
Through the new Juvenile Re-Entry Assistance Program, DOJ and HUD will work collaboratively "to help individuals that have paid their debt to society rehabilitate and reintegrate back into their communities."
That means young offenders leaving juvenile detention will not necessarily be excluded from public housing, jobs, or higher education.
But second chances have their limits: "This program specifically excludes those who are convicted of making methamphetamine drugs, sex offenses or domestic violence," the news release said.
President Obama said on Monday he was directing federal agencies to “ban the box,” or rather, not ask prospective government employees about their criminal past on job applications.
"It is relevant to find out whether somebody has a criminal record. We're not suggesting ignore it," Obama said. "What we are suggesting is that when it comes to the application, give folks a chance to get through the door. Give them a chance to get in there so they can make their case."
"We can't dismiss people out of hand simply because of a mistake that they made in the past," he added.