Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Juvenile Waivers = Bad Policy

(CNN) -- A year ago, Maydellyn Lamourt watched her 16-year-old son's dreams fall apart.

The outgoing sophomore who enjoyed playing sports was charged and sentenced as an adult in Connecticut for third-degree assault.

The crime: He and a friend stole a pack of gum from another teen.

Read more.... 

The good news is that several states are backing away from the failed policy of treating juveniles as adults. The research shows higher rates of recidivism, less opportunity for treatment, and greater risk of assault for juveniles like Lamourt's son..

The bad news is that many states will be slow to address reform. The really bad news is that states like Idaho will be among the last to embrace reform. Ideology trumps research in this state. Members of the Republican-controlled legislature will not blink first when it comes to fears of being labeled soft on crime.

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