Zabel named co-chair of newly launched Juvenile Justice Task Force

HARRISBURG, Jan. 17 – State Rep. Mike Zabel, D-Delaware, today was named co-chair of Gov. Tom Wolf’s newly launched Juvenile Justice Task Force.

Zabel, a freshman from the 163rd Legislative District, is a legislative appointee to the task force.

According to Friday afternoon’s announcement from Wolf, the bipartisan and interbranch task force “will deliver a report with data-driven findings and policy recommendations to strengthen Pennsylvania’s juvenile justice system to leaders by Nov. 30.”

The task force will be co-chaired by Zabel, Rep. Tarah Toohil, R-Luzerne, Sen. Lisa Baker, R-Luzerne/Wyoming/Susquehanna/Wayne/Pike and Sen. Jay Costa, D-Allegheny.

“I’m excited and honored for this opportunity to serve on this interbranch, bipartisan task force,” said Zabel, who has experience serving both as a prosecutor and defense attorney prior to his election to the House in November 2018. “I am confident we will do whatever we can do to strengthen the system and improve how the state handles juvenile justice.”

Wolf launched the task force in December.

To compile the report and make recommendations, the group will assess the state’s juvenile justice system and review data from court and state agencies, gather input from diverse stakeholders and examine how current practices can better align with research about what works best to improve youth outcomes.

“This task force is the next important step toward protecting vulnerable young Pennsylvanians, and I look forward to its thorough review of our juvenile justice system with the goal of making lasting change that ensures every young Pennsylvanian is getting the support needed to grow into a successful adult,” Wolf said.