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California Legislature Passes Bill Setting Juvenile Justice Minimum Age at 12

Originally posted in The Chronicle of Social Change.

The Chronicle of Social Change highlights the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice’s key role in the passage of Senate Bill 439, which protects young children under age 12 from the juvenile justice system.

From the article:

We know that children under the age 12 don’t have the developmental maturity to weather the storm of the juvenile justice system,” Mitchell said at a recent hearing for SB 439. The stats tell us that those who go through the system … often were not referred to the child-centered supports that they needed to heal and be well.”

California currently has no minimum age for prosecuting children in its juvenile justice system. Nineteen states have established some kind of minimum threshold for adjudication in delinquency courts, but if Brown signs SB 439, California would join Massachusetts as the only state that set the age of jurisdiction as high as 12.

Key supporters of SB 439 include Children’s Defense Fund, National Center on Youth Law, Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, and the Youth Law Center.

Read the full article on The Chronicle of Social Change »

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