Bill Raising Juvenile Court Age Moves Through Legislature

Published: Friday, February 16, 2018 - 5:00am
Updated: Friday, February 16, 2018 - 5:05am
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A bill in the House of Representatives would allow prevent some juveniles from being transferred to an adult court. 

House Bill 2356 would allow a juvenile to stay in juvenile court if they turn 18 while they’re under supervision, until age 19.

Under current law, the juvenile court loses jurisdiction when children turn 18.

Rebecca Baker with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office spoke in favor of the bill saying it helps address cases that are filed on the eve of a juvenile’s 18th birthday.

“We simply do not have time to adjudicate the case, provide probation services, collect restitution, do everything we need to do," she said.

Several public defenders spoke in favor of the bill as well. Eleanor Knowles represents juvenile offenders tried as adults.

“Really the most appropriate venue for these kids is the juvenile court system," Knowles said. "This bill does have potential to eliminate a lot of those adult collateral consequences for these that are still under 18 but close to 18.”

Knowles says many of her clients face sex offense charges that put them on lifetime probation when tried as adults.

HB2356 passed the House Judiciary and Public safety committee on Wednesday.

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