See a pattern?
Our laws are meant to #safeguard our youth by treating them differently than adults. Our laws protect youth from the potential harms of drinking or smoking. They also protect youth from making life-altering decisions that have irreversible and long-term consequences for themselves and others – such as casting a vote, opening a bank account, and serving on a jury.
Over the last few weeks we’ve presented six prominent examples (and there are still many more) of how Maryland law treats youth differently than adults. Youth are protected until they are at least 18 years old, even under the laws we consider to be fundamental rights as American citizens – the right to vote, the right to a jury of your peers.
We’ve shown that there is a large discrepancy between these laws and how Maryland treats its youth in the justice system – where a youth as young as 14 can be automatically tried as an adult. Our law continues to allow the automatic prosecution of youth as adults despite evidence showing that:
- A child’s brain works differently than an adults. Once a child matures, s/he will likely age out of crime.
- A child in an adult facility is more likely to be raped, beaten and commit suicide.
- A child charged as an adult, more often than not will have their case dismissed or returned to the juvenile system, but not after spending an average of 5 months in adult jail.
- Youth face a life time of collateral consequences with an adult criminal record.
Think this is wrong? LEARN MORE and TAKE ACTION to stop the automatic prosecution of youth as adults in Maryland:
Connect! Sign up to join our mailing list on our website and like Just Kids on Facebook to stay updated on news, events, and action steps that you can take to help stop the automatic prosecution of youth as adults in Maryland.
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