Yesterday the Missouri State Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously passed, “Jonathan’s Law”, a bill requiring judges to consider giving minors who have been convicted as adults, a juvenile sentence, and requiring an explanation why if they do not.
Jonathan's Law is in remembrance of Jonathan McClard, who committed suicide in an adult facility at the age of 17--fearing he would be sentenced to a long prison term with adults.
Jonathan's mother, Tracy McClard is the founder of Families and Friends Organized to Reform JuvenileJustice (FORJ-MO). McClard has been a champion for the legislation and says its passage could prevent future tragedies like what happened to her son.
“I am very excited by the support for juvenile justice reform we are receiving from Missouri's state capitol,” said McClard. “The fact that Jonathan's Law passed the senate judiciary committee with a unanimous vote speaks to the great desire to bring our children out of the adult system and once again treat our youth as children and not adults.”