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California Should Lead Nation by Setting Minimum Age Standard

Originally posted in the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE).

CJCJ Policy Analyst Maureen Washburn authors an Op-Ed in the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE) about California’s proposed minimum age law to protect young children from the negative lifelong impacts of prosecution in the juvenile justice system.

From the article:

In most U.S. states, children of any age can be processed through the juvenile justice system. This year, proposed legislation in California — a state with no established age minimum — seeks to bring needed protections to children ages 11 and younger by prohibiting their prosecution in juvenile court. If successful, Senate Bill 439 will lessen the harm of unnecessary justice system involvement by allowing young children to receive age-appropriate supports through alternative systems, including schools, community-based health providers and child welfare agencies.

Juvenile justice systems were designed for older adolescents, not children. Subjecting the very young to formal processing undermines the effectiveness of treatment and increases the likelihood that they will return to the justice system. 

Read the full article on Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE) »

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