Missouri Passes Resolution to Review Youth in Adult System
Yesterday, continuing the move towards improving Missouri's justice system for ALL youth, Missouri's House of Representatives adopted SCR29, a resolution establishing a "Juvenile Justice Task Force" that will make recommendations to the General Assembly by 2015 on:
Raising the age of juvenile court jurisdiction to age 18;
Removing juveniles from adult jails pre-trial;
Revising the age of certification to adult court;
Current laws relating to the jurisdiction of the juvenile court;
Current research on best practices for handling offenses committed by youth in the court system
The benefits of retaining youth under juvenile justice jurisdiction in MO;
Methods to reduce the number of youth in adult detention centers and prisons; and
The long-term fiscal impact of treating youth in the adult criminal justice system.
The passage of this resolution builds on the momentum gained just one year ago. In 2013, through the leadership and advocacy efforts of our parent champion, Tracy McClard, Missouri passed Jonathan's Law, a statute which opened the dual jurisdiction program up to more certified youth across the state.
Missouri remains one of eight states that automatically considers 17 as the age of majority for criminal responsibility, thus, automatically prosecutes these youth in the adult system regardless of the offense.
The CFYJ team has worked diligently alongside our Missouri partners to see this resolution through and we will continue to monitor the task force's progress throughout the year and advocate for strong recommendations to the General Assembly to raise the age for ALL Missouri youth!