Home > Policies > Youth Justice Policy > Legislative Priorities > End the automatic prosecution of youth as adults

SB515/HB1295 – Juvenile Law – Transfer of Cases to Juvenile Court
Repeals a provision that prohibits a court exercising criminal jurisdiction in a case involving a youth to transfer the case to the juvenile court
Why this bill is important: Advocates for Children and Youth supports this bill as it allows all youth automatically charged as an adult to be eligible for transfer to juvenile court jurisdiction to receive treatment. Currently, Maryland does not allow certain youth charged as adults to have their case transferred to the juvenile court system.
Update: PASSED.

HB1294/SB757 – Juveniles – Transfer Determinations – Confinement in Juvenile Facilities
Requires a court exercising adult criminal jurisdiction in a case involving a youth to order the youth to be held in a secure juvenile facility pending jurisdictional determination except under specified circumstances
Why this bill is important: Every county in Maryland holds youth charged as adults in adult facilities even though most youth find their way back to juvenile court by the time of their trial. Advocates for Children and Youth supports this bill as it would keep youth in age-appropriate facilities allowing them to receive youth specific treatment that is unavailable in the adult system.
Update: NOT PASSED.

SB589 Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention – Juvenile Charged as Adult Population Forecast
This bill requires the Governor’s Office of Drugs and Crime to collect and present data regarding youth being held in adult facilities across Maryland.
Why this is important: Currently, the state is not collecting data regarding this population. Without this data, state stakeholders have put off having an intelligent and knowledgeable conversation about policies that charge youth as adults. This data will be crucial for reformers going forward trying to move youth from adult facilities to juvenile facilities.
Update: PASSED.