California is currently in the midst of an era of progressive criminal justice reforms. The latest proposal, if passed, would bring significant changes to the state's juvenile justice system is Senate Bill 889 (SB 889) which looks to expand the age of the juvenile justice system to include offenders who are 18, 19 and 20 years old.
The bill is being led by State Senator Nancy Skinner, (D-Berkeley) who announced the proposal on January 28, 2020, with support by the Chief Probation Officers of California (CPOC). According to Senator Skinner, the bill aims to address research that shows how the brain is not considered fully developed until the age of 25. Senator Skinner believes expanding the age of the juvenile justice system to include 18, 19 and 20-year-old offenders will benefit these young people then if they were tried in adult court where they have less access to youth services and rehabilitation programs to address their unique behavioral issues like impulse control and peer pressure.
If passed, California will be the second state in the country to expand the age of the juvenile justice system passed 18. In 2018, Vermont became the first state to increase the threshold age of its juvenile justice system to 18.
One of the biggest benefits this bill would bring for young Californians accused of a crime is a chance to avoid being tried in adult court where there is no opportunity to seal their criminal records from the public. In Juvenile court, records can be sealed, meaning the record of a person's crimes that occurred when they were a "juvenile" may be hidden from public records. When records are sealed the public will not be able to discover the crime on a background check for a job and use that fact to disqualify you from employment.
Contact the Juvenile Defense Attorneys at Kareem Law APC Today
Call Kareem Law APC if you or someone you love is accused of a crime in the juvenile court system. Our attorneys understand the juvenile justice system and have experience fighting for the rights of juvenile defendants. Contact us today for a free case evaluation and preserve your future.