jjie.org (26.05.2017): More Protections for Juvenile Offenders Are Before California Legislators

Kalifornien. Proposed legislation would move juvenile justice in California closer to rehabilitating youth rather than punishing them, juvenile advocates say. State sens. Holly Mitchell and Ricardo Lara, both Democrats, introduced bills in March that would keep more youth out of the juvenile justice system by focusing on crime prevention and family ties rather than incarceration. While none of the proposed laws are groundbreaking, they could lead to changes in other states.

“Some states may look at look at California and say if California can do it with all those kids, wow, then maybe we can do it, too,” said Melissa Sickmund, director of the National Center for Juvenile Justice.

The four bills are:

  • SB 190, which would eliminate court and administrative fees that families of juvenile offenders pay.
  • SB 394, which writes into state law a U.S. Supreme Court decision that minors can’t be sentenced to life without parole.

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