Fewer accused juveniles are being sent to adult court because of a five-year trend of states changing laws to keep young offenders away from adult prisons, says a report from the Washington, D.C.-based Campaign for Youth Justice quoted by USA Today.
Three states have raised the age at which kids are automatically tried as adults to 18. Ten states have made it harder to transfer youths from juvenile to adult court, according to the report. Colorado, Maine, Virginia and Pennsylvania passed laws to keep young offenders in juvenile lockups rather than adult prison while awaiting trial or serving a sentence. About 250,000 youths under 18 are prosecuted in adult court annually.