On January 10, 2022 LWV Westwood Walpole Dedham sponsored a presentation by State Rep. Kay Khan of Newton on a bill she is sponsoring, which is currently in the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, chaired by Sen. James B. Eldridge. The proposed bill is a priority of the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts.
What this bill does and why It is important
This bill raises the age of juvenile jurisdiction gradually over five years to include young people from 18 through 20 years of age. If enacted, this bill would include the 18 through 20 year age group in the juvenile justice system, or alternatively divert them to community-based diversion programs. The bill would protect them from being sent to adult correctional facilities and ensure that they receive the age-appropriate rehabilitative programming necessary to help them mature into healthy, well-adjusted adults. The bill aims to prevent long-term criminal justice system involvement by ensuring that these young people are held accountable while at the same time engaged in treatment, education, and vocational training that are effective for this age group.
The bills are H1826 and S920. You can access Rep. Khan's presentation here.
Please contact your legislators and Sen. Eldridge to support these bills, which must be reported out of the Judiciary Committee by February 2.