Handling accused juvenile delinquents in the adult justice system makes it more likely they will re-offend when they emerge from prison, says the Washington-based Coalition for Juvenile Justice. A new study from the group, “Childhood on Trial,” said “adult time for adult crime” policies have failed, the Associated Press reports. The group wants to restore the authority of juvenile court judges to determine if juveniles should be tried as adults.
The study is being released today at Northeastern University. Lawmakers in three New England states – Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire – are considering changes to their youthful offender laws. Other states where the age limit between juvenile and adult courts is 17 include Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin.