New Report Shows State Progress in Removing Youth from Adult Court

On October 10, 2013 the Campaign for Youth Justice (CFYJ) released its newest report, State Trends Legislative Victories from 2011-2013 Removing Youth from the Adult Criminal Justice System, documenting how nearly half the states have enacted laws and policies to reduce the prosecution of youth in adult criminal courts and end the placement of youth in adult jails and prisons.

Remarkably, in just eight years twenty three states have enacted forty pieces of legislation to remove youth from the adult system. State Trendscaptures four ongoing trends across the country:

  • Trend 1: Eleven states (Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Maine, Nevada, Hawaii, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Texas, Oregon and Ohio) have passed laws limiting states’ authority to house youth in adult jails and prisons.
  • Trend 2: Four states (Connecticut, Illinois, Mississippi, and Massachusetts) have expanded their juvenile court jurisdiction so that older youth who previously would be automatically tried as adults are not prosecuted in adult criminal court. “Raise the Age” efforts to reduce the automatic prosecution of 16 and 17 year olds in the adult criminal court will impact more than 20,000 young people.
  • Trend 3: Twelve states (Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Nevada, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Ohio, Maryland and Nevada) have changed their transfer laws making it more likely that youth will stay in the juvenile justice system.
  • Trend 4: Eight states (California, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Texas, Missouri, Ohio, and Washington) have changed their mandatory minimum sentencing laws to take into account the developmental differences between youth and adults, allow for post-sentence review for youth facing juvenile life without parole or other sentencing reform for youth sentenced as adults.

The full report is available at:

As October is National Youth Justice Awareness Month (YJAM), please spread the word! For more information, visit:

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