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Juvenile Justice Reform Roundup

June 28, 2012
Benjamin Chambers

Connecticut Youth Given More Opportunities to Be Served in Juvenile Court

Fewer kids in Connecticut will spend time in adult court thanks to recently passed legislation (HB 6001) and the efforts of an NJJN member, the Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance.

  • While Connecticut law requires youth 14 and older with Class A or B felonies to be transferred to adult court, they can be sent back to juvenile court if the prosecutor and defense counsel agree that the youth would be better served there. Currently, however, the prosecutor only has 10 days to file a motion to transfer the youth back to juvenile court; thanks to the new legislation, the 10-day limit will be eliminated as of October 2012.
  • The new statute also affects youth who face discretionary transfer to adult court. Transfer hearings will now take place in juvenile court and must adhere to outlined criteria for determining whether transfer is appropriate. The 10-day deadline for returning these cases to juvenile court has also been eliminated. Now, discretionary cases can be transferred back to juvenile court for good cause any time before a guilty plea or jury verdict.

North Carolina Moves Closer to “Raising the Age”

NJJN member, Action for Children North Carolina, reported a positive turn in North Carolina’s “Raise the Age” campaign. Last week, a bill to raise the age of jurisdiction in juvenile court (SB 434) passed unanimously through the House Judiciary Committee and moved into the House Appropriations Committee, thanks in part to Action for Children's hard work educating policymakers and stakeholders. The bill would raise the age of juvenile court jurisdiction from 16 to 18 for youth who have committed misdemeanors; North Carolina is one of only two states that still treat all 16- and 17-year-olds as adults.

“The Raise the Age bill is smart on crime, smart for our kids and smart for taxpayers, and we are gratified that House Judiciary Subcommittee A has unanimously endorsed it today with a strong bipartisan vote,” said Brandy Bynum, Action for Children's Director of Policy and Outreach.

Photo: Eugene Peretz, under Creative Commons License. 

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