(RightWing.org) – California has introduced another controversial bill to its state government. Senate Bill 889 (SB 889) would raise the age that juveniles are tried as minors from 18 to 21. That is, anyone under 21 would be treated as a minor during criminal proceedings.
IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE NEWS: CA legislators are considering a SB 889 which would see defendants under the age of 21 to be considered juveniles in criminal prosecution. More, below. #criminaljustice #arrestedincali #crime #californialaw #criminallawhttps://t.co/XMDxZRkv23
— Kaedian LLP (@KaedianLLP) January 29, 2020
There are various justifications for raising this age limit. Scientific research shows that the brain’s prefrontal cortex, the area responsible for decision making, continues developing until age 24. Additionally, the legal age to purchase alcohol, and recently tobacco, is 21, the age one is generally deemed an adult in America.
Some probation officers are in favor of SB 889, saying that teenagers aren’t mature enough to be held responsible for their actions like adults.
However, not everyone is convinced this bill is being introduced solely with good intentions.
This bill would effectively expand the jurisdiction of California’s juvenile justice system. This means that, in part, the bill is a sort of “job protection” policy. Juvenile arrests have steadily fallen with some juvenile halls in the process of closing down and plenty remain unfilled.
No matter what the reasoning, this bill could have serious implications on crime and punishment in the Golden State.
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