Kids Do Not Belong in Adult Court
TAKE ACTION NOW
The Indiana legislature is proposing a step back for juvenile justice, again.
Though most states are shifting toward the decriminalization of young children, Indiana lawmakers have proposed legislation that would expand the number of kids transferred to adult court.
Young people should remain in the juvenile justice system, regardless of their crimes. There is mounting scientific evidence that children and adults are fundamentally different in how they make decisions. SB 449 would open the door to hundreds more 16 and 17-year-old children being automatically transferred to the adult system for an expanded number of listed offenses and would increase penalties for certain offenses.
In addition, transferring children to adult court disproportionately impacts children of color. Nationwide, 52% of cases in adult court involve African American children. In Indiana, 69% of all cases filed directly in 2017-18 to adult court involve African American children.
Elected officials should take a deeper look at policy reform that would help to prevent juvenile acts of violence, rather than passing knee-jerk legislation that could deepen already severe disparities within the criminal justice system.
Together, we can take action for juvenile justice. Contact your house representative and the Speaker of the House to oppose SB 449.
Your State House Representative
Speaker of the House Brian Bosma