In Maryland, a kid as young as 14 charged with any of 33 offenses will be automatically sent into the adult system. This means they will be held in adult jail and tried in adult court. But all the research shows that sending youth to the adult system harms them and threatens public safety.
The consequences of automatically sending kids into the adult system are not minor. Let's make the juvenile justice system the entry point for all youth, because it is designed to hold these youth accountable for their actions and provide them with rigorous rehabilitation. And let's allow a juvenile judge to consider all evidence before making life-altering decisions about a young person's future.
Get the facts, then sign the pledge today. Tell Maryland to stop the automatic prosecution of youth as adults.
Fact: Youth who are charged and prosecuted in the adult system go on to reoffend more often and more violently than youth charged and held accountable in the juvenile system for equivalent offenses.
Fact: 2/3 of the youth initially sent to adult jail in Baltimore City are sent back to the juvenile system or have their cases dismissed outright. Most of these same kids spend months in adult jail before a judge examines whether they should be there at all.
Fact: Youth have the highest suicide rates of all inmates in adult jails and face an extremely high risk of physical and sexual assault while in jail.
Fact: "Adult time for adult crime" laws neither deter youth from crime nor lower youth offending rates.
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