Justice for Kids

2019-2020 Youth Justice Legislative Priorities

CfJJ, in partnership with the statewide Juvenile Justice Reform Coalition, advocates for comprehensive juvenile justice reforms to promote transparency, best practices, and better outcomes for children and communities.  In April 2018, Massachusetts passed criminal justice legislation with major wins for youth justice reforms (read more here).  With these successes, we will continue to advocate for reforms that are not addressed by the new law.

  • Advocate for transparency and accountability of justice system agencies to address the pervasive racial and ethnic disparities in our system (FACT SHEET)

  • Protect students’ access to education by limiting long-term suspension and permanent expulsion only to behavior that presents a significant safety risk (FACT SHEET)

  • Raise the age of juvenile court jurisdiction to include 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds in a more developmentally appropriate justice system (FACT SHEET)

  • Infuse developmentally-appropriate policies modeled after Massachusetts’ juvenile justice system into the adult criminal justice system (FACT SHEET)

  • Modifying the restrictive eligibility requirements in the newly created expungement law to allow expungement of juvenile and young adult court records by replacing the one-court-case restriction with a requirement that there are no new cases in the past 3-5 years (FACT SHEET)

  • Decriminalize consensual sexual activity between adolescents, by creating an exception to the statutory rape law for youth close in age (FACT SHEET)

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