Ill. Praised for Juvenile Justice Changes

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(AP) — A national organization that advocates keeping youth under 18 out of the adult court system is applauding Illinois for recent legislative changes.  The Campaign for Youth Justice tracked state trends in juvenile justice from 2005 to 2010 for a new report.  Illinois is praised in the report as one of three states that no longer automatically filters 17-year-olds charged with misdemeanors into the adult system. The change became effective Jan. 1, 2010. Connecticut and Mississippi also raised the age of juvenile court jurisdiction for misdemeanors.  The campaign said the new policy allows teens accused of minor crimes to have access to mental health and drug treatment in the juvenile system that isn’t available in what it calls the “punitive adult system.”

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