Tuesday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

TCJC List of Reform Bills Approved by 83rd Lege, Grits for Breakfast

The Texas Criminal Justice Coalition sent out an email this morning detailing reform legislation they supported which passed in the 83rd session. There is a surprising number of juvenile justice bills on the roster but a lamentably short list of bills aimed at reducing incarceration in the adult system.

Medical Pot Laws & Treats May Send More Kids to ER, Yahoo! News

CHICAGO (AP) — Increased use of medical marijuana may lead to more young children getting sick from accidentally eating food made with the drug, a Colorado study suggests.

Medical marijuana items include yummy-looking gummy candies, cookies and other treats that may entice young children. Fourteen children were treated at Colorado Children’s Hospital in the two years after a 2009 federal policy change led to a surge in medical marijuana use, the study found. That’s when federal authorities said they would not prosecute legal users.

Changes Proposed for NC’s Juvenile Justice System, San Francisco Chronicle

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Legislators, advocates and prosecutors are talking about changing a century-old law that calls for lawbreakers to be prosecuted as adults starting at age 16 — a measure that remains in effect in only one other state in the country.

The debate about raising the age to 18 comes even as district attorneys say they are seeing younger and younger people committing especially violent crimes, including murder.

Rep. Marilyn Avila, R-Wake, is the primary sponsor of a bill that would raise the age to 18 for teenagers who commit misdemeanors only. Avila initially had drafted a more-expansive bill that would also raise the age for low-level felonies, which would include charges such as breaking into a car, possession of marijuana, common law robbery and involuntary manslaughter.

Rep. Khan Sponsored Juvenile Justice Bill Passes in the House, Wicked Local

Newton — Rep. Kay Khan (D-Newton) announced Thursday that legislation she sponsored, An Act Expanding Juvenile Jurisdiction (H.1432), was passed unanimously yesterday by the Massachusetts House of Representatives. This legislation will raise the Juvenile Court’s youth jurisdiction from the 17th birthday to the 18th birthday as it stands in 38 other states.

An Act to Expand Juvenile Jurisdiction, Increase Public Safety and Protect Children from Harm incorporates up to date scientific research which offers a more effective method in approaching 17 year-olds who enter the criminal justice system. This legislation will reduce the number of young adults going into the adult prison system thereby lowering costs to the Commonwealth.

 

Megan Mikutis

About Megan Mikutis

Megan Mikutis is a second year student at the University of Houston Law Center. She graduated from the University of Houston – Clear Lake in 2012 with a B.A. in Literature. While obtaining her undergraduate degree, Megan tutored undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students in writing while working for the University of Houston – Clear Lake Writing Center. This summer, Megan worked for the Center for Children, Law, and Policy and had the opportunity to compose a policy statement discussing the disproportionate representation of Limited English Proficient students in special education. Currently, Megan serves as the President of the Student Bar Association as well as a member of the Hispanic Law Student Association. Megan is most interested in education and special education issues.

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