Two Proposed Bills On Beacon Hill Could Raise Age Range For Juvenile Court

Photo: James Rojas / WBZ

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) – Lawmakers on Beacon Hill are exploring the possibility of changing the state’s juvenile justice system to include younger individuals.

A bill in both the House and Senate would raise the age bracket of the Commonwealth’s juvenile court system to include those aged 18, 19 and 20.

Members of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary heard testimonies from advocates this week. They said treating teenagers as teenagers, rather than adults, promotes successful rehabilitation and reduces crime.

They also argued that the current adult system leads to recidivism and even escalation into more serious crimes for younger adults. 

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State Representative Jim O’Day is a sponsor of the House Bill and says there is a much greater likelihood that education for this age group would continue.

O’Day also said it is imperative to know the brain continues to develop through the age of 25 and that too many young people have fallen prey to the adult criminal justice system. 

WBZ’s James Rojas (@JamesRojasWBZ) breaks down the legislation:

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