Nearly Half of States Act to Keep Kids Out of Adult Courts, Prisons


Nearly half the states have enacted laws in the last eight years aimed at reducing the number of youths prosecuted in adult criminal courts and ending the placement of teens in adult jails and prisons, says the Campaign for Youth Justice, which advocates for those changes in the law. A new report by the group discusses what it says are four trends in juvenile justice reform.

The campaign said 11 states in recent years limited the incarceration of youth in adult facilities, four states expanded juvenile court jurisdiction so fewer teens are automatically prosecuted as adults, 12 states amended their laws on transferring youths in court to make it more likely that cases will remain in juvenile court, and eight states changed mandatory minimum sentencing laws in ways that benefit young defendants. The report said that “local research and analysis has played a significant role in informing policymakers.”

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