The Campaign for Youth Justice will be closing in December. We could not be more proud of the success we have had along the way, especially in our campaign states. Check out the first in our series of blogs by CFYJ's State Campaigns Director, Brian Evans on our 15 years of progress and why it's important to get ready to #VoteYouthJustice on National Voter Registration Day.
Reducing, limiting, and ultimately ending the prosecution of children as adults has required a lot of work to achieve legislative changes in the states. During the past 15 years, as we at the Campaign for Youth Justice have pursued this work, 40 states and Washington, DC, have changed their laws to reduce the number and mitigate the harm of charging children as adults. More than half of the states have enacted multiple reforms, and, as a result, the number of children prosecuted as adults each year has dropped from around a quarter of a million to, in 2015, about 76,000. This number is likely significantly lower now, as since 2015 four states (LA, NC, NY, SC) have implemented raise the age laws that ended the automatic prosecution of all 16 and/or 17-year-old youth as adults. Two more states, Michigan and Missouri, are set to implement “Raise the Age” laws next year.