We are happy to announce that Solan’s Law is headed to the governor’s desk! The law is designed to protect children from the dangers of incarceration by keeping them out of juvenile jail in the first place.
HB 158 was named in memory of Solan Peterson, a 13-year-old boy who tragically took his own life in the Ware juvenile detention center this past February. Solan had never been in trouble before and was arrested for a childish prank – trying to set a roll of toilet paper on fire in the school bathroom. He didn’t pose a threat to public safety, but was detained for weeks anyway.
Now, jurisdictions will be required to evaluate a child’s risk level when deciding whether to jail them after an arrest. As a result, fewer children should end up needlessly incarcerated and traumatized.
Thank you to everyone who contacted your legislators in support of this bill! Thank you to bill sponsor Rep. Malinda White and the 34 other legislators who signed on as co-sponsors. And thank you most of all to Solan’s family, who advocated for the bill so that no other family has to suffer like they have. Our hearts are with you.