Youth Have Hope In Florida

On April 8, 2015, a Florida Senate subcommittee voted to approve a bill that would allow judges rather than prosecutors to determine when a child should be charged as an adult. Senate Bill 1082,which I am speaking of above, could greatly reduce the number of youth under 18 sent into the adult criminal justice system. It deserves a vote before Florida’s full Senate and House. Prosecuting a young person as an adult has consequences for society as well as for the person involved and many people do not see that. Under Florida’s current “direct file” statute, prosecutors have almost complete control to charge children 14 and older as adults. More than 98 percent of youth in Florida’s adult court are transferred there by a prosecutor without a judge's oversight. Do you think this new bill brings them hope? I think this is a great idea and can save many lives and futures of many youth. How can you see this going to other states as well?

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