Oregon’s longstanding policy of treating juvenile offenders accused of serious crimes as adults is “harsh and costly” and fails to account for adolescents’ capacity for change, the Oregon Council on Civil Rights says in a new report issued Tuesday.
The seven-member council reviewed Measure 11’s impact on young offenders. The law spells out mandatory minimum sentences for certain crimes, such as rape, murder and robbery. Juveniles accused of those crimes are moved into the adult court system.
Among the council’s recommendations: Give judges discretion over those cases. The move would allow judges to impose tough sentences in some cases but consider “mitigating circumstances” in others, the report says.
It also recommends allowing all juveniles accused of serious crimes to go before a judge half-way through their sentence to argue for release.Read More (Offsite)