NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

April 3, 2013

Our view: Hill's juvenile bill deserves consideration

(Continued)

The legislation “will go a long way in ensuring that juveniles get appropriate guidance and help when accused of committing minor crimes,” Hill said in a statement released this week. “There exists a large amount of research that illustrates the detrimental effects of sending minors through the adult criminal justice system … a Center for Disease Control panel has identified the policy as a cause of violent crime – not a solution.”

In Massachusetts, all 17-year-olds accused of crimes are prosecuted as adults (meaning no one is required to contact their parents when they are arrested) and can be sent to adult jails and prisons, often putting them at high risk of sexual assault and suicide. District attorneys do, however, have the option to charge first-time offenders between 17 and 21 as “youthful offenders,” keeping them out of the adult detention system. To its credit, the Essex County District Attorney’s Office makes liberal use of the first-time offender program.

It’s worth noting that 38 states and the U.S. Supreme Court consider 18 to be the proper age of adult criminal responsibility. It’s time for Massachusetts to give the issue a long look.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now!
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans