House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) has appointed State Representative Timothy Whelan (R-Brewster) to serve as his designee on the newly-created Juvenile Justice Policy and Data Board.
Established as part of the 2018 Criminal Justice Reform Law, the 21-member board will be responsible for evaluating policies and procedures related to the juvenile justice system in Massachusetts, including community-based services and the quality and accessibility of diversion programs available to juveniles.
The board will work to ensure that these policies promote the best interests of children and young adults who fall under the supervision of the juvenile court system, while also taking steps to improve transparency and accountability in state-funded services.
“Making sure individuals caught up in the juvenile justice system have an opportunity to rehabilitate themselves is critical to ensuring that they become productive members of society and avoid a life of crime,” said Representative Jones. “I am confident Tim will be an asset to the board as it seeks to carry out its mission to promote public safety and reduce recidivism among youthful offenders.”
As a member of the Juvenile Justice Policy and Data Board, Whelan will also serve on the Childhood Trauma Task Force. Working closely with the Office of the Child Advocate, members of the task force will develop recommendations for providing services to help children recover from the psychological damage caused by exposure to violence, crime or maltreatment.
Both the board and the task force will file annual reports and recommendations with the Governor, the Legislature and the Chief Justice of the Trial Court.
Whelan is a former Marine and a retired Massachusetts State Police Sergeant with 26 years of law enforcement experience. He was first elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 2014, and represents the First Barnstable District towns of Barnstable, Brewster, Dennis and Yarmouth.