STOP AUTOMATICALLY CHARGING YOUTH AS ADULTS
In Maryland a kid as young as 14 charged with any of 33 offenses will be automatically sent into the adult system, meaning adult jail and adult court.
Youth should not be automatically charged as adults because:
- The majority of youth charged as adults have their cases sent to the juvenile system or dismissed.
- Confinement in adult jails increases a youth’s risk of victimization and suicide.
- Charging youth as adults does not reduce crime; rather, it makes crime worse.
- Jails and prisons focus on punishment not treatment.
- Treating a youth as an adult leaves that youth with a lifetime of collateral consequences.
We can do better. Let’s make the juvenile justice system the entry point for youth charged with crimes - because it is designed to hold these youth accountable for their actions and provide them with rigorous rehabilitation. Let’s stop pushing kids into the adult system before a judge has reviewed their cases. Instead, allow a juvenile judge to consider all evidence before making life-altering decisions about a young person’s future.
Tell Maryland to stop the automatic prosecution of youth as adults. SIGN THE PLEDGE TODAY by filling out your name and email address in box to your right.
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