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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

National Juvenile Justice News

Mississippi Passes Legislation Extending Jurisdiction of Juvenile Court to 17-Year-Olds



SB 2969, signed by Mississippi’s governor on April 27, returns 17-year-olds charged with felonies (with the exception of murder, armed robbery and rape) to the original jurisdiction of the juvenile court. Prior to this legislation, which was supported by the Mississippi Youth Justice Project (an NJJN member) all 17-year-olds were automatically prosecuted in adult court for any offense. The new law goes into effect on January 1, 2011. Click “Read more” to read the legislation.
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Colorado Governor Signs Legislation to Reform the State’s Direct File Statute



Thanks in part to advocacy by NJJN members the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, Colorado Juvenile Defender Coalition, and Pendulum Foundation, on May 25, Colorado’s governor signed into law HB 1413, which increases from 14 to 16 years old the minimum age at which certain youth (excepting those charged with murder and sex offenses) are eligible to be “direct filed,” or charged in adult criminal court by a prosecutor without a transfer hearing. The legislation also establishes factors that the prosecutor must consider in determining whether to direct file a youth, and requires a 14-day notice of intention to direct file, during which time youth can provide information to the prosecutor regarding the enumerated factors. Visit StopDirectFile.org to learn more about the campaign to end direct filing in Colorado.