The Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee voted to advance HB 1381 today, which YSRP hopes will usher in a more humane era of support and care for youth involved in the criminal legal system.
In February 2019, the Carlisle Sentinel published “Kids in Cuffs: Hundreds of youths charged as adults in Pennsylvania every year” as part of reporter Joshua Vaughn’s series on youth in adult court, which was republished by the Associated Press, U.S. News & World Report, and other national outlets. The article provides an in-depth history of Pennsylvania’s laws that allow charging children as adults, statistics about racial disparities in the way the law is applied, and a county-specific analysis of the number of youth being charged in adult court across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. YSRP Co-Director Lauren Fine was quoted throughout the article, including the below:
We don’t allow children of this same age to vote or even buy cigarettes or make other decisions that have long-lasting effects, and we do that for a reason and that’s because young people are not fully developed, their brains are not fully developed, and we’re holding them accountable for behavior that doesn’t actually reflect where they are in life.