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Juvenile Justice News

Memphis teen to be released from solitary confinement, moved to local juvenile facility

A Memphis teenager in solitary confinement at an adult prison will move to the Shelby County Juvenile Detention Center based on an order signed Wednesday by a local Criminal Court judge.

The transfer of Teriyona Winton, 16, comes after legislation signed by Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday regarding housing juveniles in adult facilities. Winton has spent months in an adult facility on a charge from last year in the shooting death of 17-year-old Deago Brown when she was 15.

On Wednesday Criminal Court Judge W. Mark Ward signed an order removing Winton from an adult facility in Henning, transferring her to local juvenile detention.

Mental health commissioner calls to tackle issues in schools

Alabama's Department of Mental Health Commissioner Lynn Beshear called for mental health prevention and intervention to ensure school safety in an op-ed Saturday.

Mental health: Gaps remain in juvenile mental health care (Las Cruces Sun-News)

Nationally, between 60 to 70 percent of kids in the juvenile justice system have a mental health disorder and roughly 90 percent have experienced at least one traumatic event," said Terri Williams, deputy secretary of the Kansas Department of Corrections in a news statement from July 28, 2014. This falls closely in line with what child psychiatrist George Davis said recently in a phone interview. Davis, the director of CYFD juvenile justice services based in Albuquerque, has vast experience in the adolescent juvenile justice population and said that he believes 90 percent have been "severely compromised and are victims of neglect and abuse.

Michigan Juvenile Justice Reforms, Delayed by Larry Nassar Bills, Could Move in Fall

In a sad twist of irony, Michigan legislators and advocates hoping to improve the state’s juvenile justice system ran out of time this year because of how long it took to address one of the biggest child abuse scandals in American history.

Missouri bill would raise adult crimes age

An advocacy group is pushing a bill that would increase the age of people tried in court as adults to 18 years. KOLR-TV reports that Missouri is one of seven states that treat 17-year-olds as adults in the criminal-justice system. A group called the "Raise the Age Coalition" has been pushing for a change.

Missouri bill would require teens under 18 to be prosecuted in juvenile court

A bill to be heard in a state House committee Tuesday would prevent 17-year-old defendants from being tried for minor and nonviolent offenses in adult courts.

Senate Bill 793 would require children under the age of 18 to be prosecuted in juvenile court for most criminal offenses unless the child is certified as an adult. The 17-year-olds charged with more serious and violent crimes could still be tried as adults. 

The bill was approved unanimously in the Senate and will head to the House floor if the committee approves.


Several decades ago, most states routinely tried 17-year-olds as adults, but in recent decades a majority of those states have passed laws requiring courts to process 17-year-olds in juvenile court. Missouri is one of five states that has yet to do so.

Missouri Legislature Raises Age for Adult Prosecution

The Missouri Legislature has voted to raise the age at which suspects are automatically prosecuted as adults from 17 to 18.

The bill, approved by the Senate Thursday in a 32-1 vote, would add a $3.50 charge to all civil lawsuits to help the juvenile justice system absorb more people.

Youth charged with certain serious crimes could still be tried as adults. Currently, Missouri is one of five states to automatically try 17-year-olds in adult courts. The bill would also allow youth forced into prostitution to have their court records wiped clean.

Missouri prepares for juvenile system change

Missouri is one of only a handful of states where 17-year-olds are currently tried as adults in the court system. But that will soon change. The Missouri legislature passed Senate Bill 793. And it was signed by the governor last month. It raises the age to be tried as an adult to 18, except for in certain serious cases.

MISSOURI: Proposed law to raise age of ‘juveniles’ in court

Missouri should join 40 other states and raise the age for juveniles being handled by adult courts, as proposed in a Senate bill.“Currently, Missouri charges all 17 year-olds as adults, no matter what the offense — misdemeanor or felony,” sponsor Wayne Wallingford told the Senate’s Judiciary committee this week. “This bill changes the definition of ‘child’ to include all children under 18 years of age. 

Missouri: State Taskforce Working to Curb Child Incarceration

The St. Louis American

Missouri is one of only seven states that still has 17 as the default age of adult prosecution. Several juvenile rights advocates are trying to raise the age to 18, as well as make it harder to let children as young as 12 face criminal charges as adults and face being put into adult prisons. The bipartisan Missouri Juvenile Justice Taskforce heard testimonies in Jefferson City on Wednesday and are expected to recommend legislation to be introduced this term. Children go through a "transfer hearing" before they are tried in court as adults and put into adult prisons. But Missouri's transfer process has several flaws that allow for children to get stuck in adult jails unnecessarily, sometimes for several months, said Mae Quinn, Washington University law professor and director of the Juvenile Law and Justice Clinic. 

Mistrett, Schindler: Texas can 'raise the age' and keep communities safe

Texas is one of only a handful of states that still sends all 17-year-olds to adult courts, no matter how minor their offense. Legislation that would raise the age of juvenile court jurisdiction in Texas was passed by the state House of Representatives last week and is now awaiting action in the Texas Senate. 

Mobile campaign aims to end child solitary confinement by transporting viewers inside a cramped jail cell

To raise awareness and demand action, a group called Incarcerated Nation Corp has introduced a mobile-first campaign, Unlock Our Kids, that puts the viewer inside a solitary cell. 

Moratorium Sought on Juveniles in Adult Jails

Advocates will ask the Shelby County Board of Commissioners next week to set a moratorium on the transfer of juveniles to adult jails. 

The request follows the legal battle involving Teriyona Winton, the 16-year-old girl being held in isolation at Nashville’s Tennessee Prison for Women. Winton was charged as an adult for the 2017 murder of 17-year-old Deago Brown in Binghampton. 

More Protections for Juvenile Offenders Are Before California Legislators

Proposed legislation would move juvenile justice in California closer to rehabilitating youth rather than punishing them, juvenile advocates say.

More States Consider Raising the Age for Juvenile Crime

If  you’re a teenager, whether you’re an adult in the eyes of the law depends on the state you live in. Slowly, that’s starting to change. Today, most states, including Washington, D.C., treat adolescents as juveniles through the age of 17. Nine states still have a lower bar, at age 16, apart from New York and North Carolina, where the age is 15. 

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