Sunday, July 25, 2021

Play

More than 10,000 NY and NJ airport workers will get health insurance as part of new contract negotiations; and Dr. Jill Biden is in Tokyo for the Olympic Games.

Play

Drama builds over who will serve on the House January 6th panel; Senate tries to hold tech accountable for COVID misinformation; and VP Harris promotes a path to citizenship for Dreamers.

Bill Would Raise Minimum Age of MO Juveniles Sent to Adult Prison

Play

Tuesday, April 25, 2017   

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri is one of only seven states that treat 17-year-olds as adults in the criminal-justice system. A group called "Raise the Age Coalition" has been working to change that for several years, and members say they're encouraged because legislation to raise the age to 18 could be heard in a House committee within the next few days.

House Bill 274 would change Missouri law to say that only those 18 and older can be tried as an adult or sent to adult prison.

Vivian Murphy is the former director of the Missouri Juvenile Justice Association and says science has proved teenagers' brains still are developing, and putting them in with adult inmates does more harm than good.

"They don't belong in adult jails or prisons," she said. "They're more likely to commit suicide, they're more likely to be a victim of sexual assault, and many times they have to spend time in solitary confinement, which we know leads to physical and psychological harm."

Opponents of the legislation cite the cost, saying the state would have to open new juvenile facilities and hire more juvenile court officers. Murphy says Illinois recently used existing dollars after changing the age of juvenile offenders in that state to 17, and actually closed three costly youth facilities.

The House bill could be heard before the end of the legislative session. A similar bill in the Senate (SB 40) has been stuck in committee.

Murphy says it's about what's best for children, but it's also about community safety as well because there's more of an opportunity to turn their lives around if the focus is on rehabilitation rather than incarceration.

"Our juvenile-justice system holds kids accountable, and if the 17-year-old goes to an adult jail they're three times more likely to re-offend," she added. "And a lot of the 17-year-olds arrested in Missouri are arrested for nonviolent or misdemeanor offenses."

Murphy says more than 40 percent of the youth in the custody of Missouri's Division of Youth Services have committed low-level misdemeanors and juvenile offenses.


get more stories like this via email

While most electricity in Utah is generated by gas or coal-powered plants, one regional utility is considering the nuclear option. (brianguest/Adobe Stock)

Environment

SALT LAKE CITY -- In the push toward carbon-free energy production, some cities in Utah and nearby states are considering a new type of nuclear …


Health and Wellness

TAMPA, Fla. -- Move United's USA Wheelchair Football League is expanding from four cities to nine, including Tampa, to give athletes with …

Environment

CRAIG, Colo. -- What would it look like if one in four households in the country was solar-powered? A new report from the "30 Million Solar Homes" …


According to the American Heart Association, one in five cardiac arrests occurs in public, such as on a job site. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

DES MOINES, Iowa -- People across the Midwest, including Iowans, have dealt with a series of heat waves this summer. Health experts say hotter …

Social Issues

NEW YORK -- Over 10,000 New York and New Jersey front-line airport workers will get health insurance as part of new contract negotiations that come at…

More than 400 laws have been introduced this year that would restrict voting rights across the country. (Lakshmiprasad/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

INDIANAPOLIS -- Voting-rights advocates applaud this week's federal appeals-court decision to prevent Indiana from purging some voters from the rolls …

Environment

BOSTON -- A new survey finds widespread public support up and down the East Coast for protecting right whales from getting tangled up in fishing gear…

Environment

CARSON CITY, Nev. - A bill just introduced in the U.S, Senate would help thousands of species stay off the Endangered Species List - including …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021