Juvenile and Young Adult Issues – Fair and Just Prosecution

“[T]he juvenile justice system provides a better pathway forward by looking at youth more holistically in the context of their family, school and community.”
– Andrea Harrington, District Attorney, Berkshire County, MA

“Germany’s Better Path on Emerging-adults”

Shifting the focus of the justice system from harsh punishment to prevention and rehabilitation makes communities safer, and no population is more critical to this effort than our young people. In a Boston Globe op-ed[14], Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins and FJP Executive director Miriam Krinsky discuss the lessons Germany offers about how to rethink our approach to young adult justice and the importance of models and strategies grounded in compassion and equity.

“Almost 20 years into the 21st century, it is time for Massachusetts — and this nation — to treat its young people with the compassion that Germany embraced in the middle of the last century.”

Legal Experts Rally Behind California Law to Keep More Kids Out of the Adult Justice System

Over 100 legal scholars from 18 law schools in California joined in a white paper[15] supporting the constitutionality of a new state law that prevents children below the age of 16 from being prosecuted or sentenced in the adult criminal system. As the white paper argues, these sensible reforms are not only constitutional, but also based on what over two decades of brain development research has demonstrated. Children aged 14 and 15 are kids and should be treated as such – not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it is the best way to promote long term public safety.

“Keeping youth in the juvenile justice system means safer communities.”
– UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY SCHOOL OF LAW DEAN ERWIN CHEMERINSKY

“Science—and the Law—Says Don’t Try Juveniles as Adults”

Recognition of youth development and young people’s tremendous capacity for change is a simple starting point that has failed to be consistently applied for children whose lives are touched by the criminal justice system. Harsh punitive practices deny far too many children the opportunity for rehabilitation and in the long run undermine public safety. In a San Francisco Chronicle op-ed[16], FJP Executive Director Miriam Krinsky, former East Palo Alto Police Chief Ron Davis and former Orange County Senior Deputy District Attorney Brian Gurwitz weigh in on California’s important juvenile justice reforms that prevent youth below the age of 16 from being prosecuted in the adult justice system.

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