ADVANTAGES

Some states have taken steps to limit transfer, though there is far more work ahead. In Kansas, which saw 30 transfers in FY2015,41) SB 367 (2015) eliminated waivers on drug charges though it still allows for once an adult, always an adult prosecutions. In Vermont, H95 (2016) eliminated direct file for all but the most serious offenses. New Jersey’s S2003 (2014) eliminated transfer for 14- and 15- year olds. Illinois passed PA 94-0574 in 2005, reversing a 1995 law that required 15- and 16-year olds be tried as adults for drug offenses within 1,000 feet of a school or public housing.42) (At the time, Illinois required that all 17-year olds be treated as though they were adults.) In Chicago’s Cook County alone, automatic transfers fell from 361 to 127 after passage with no increase in juvenile court petitions, according to a comprehensive review of the law by the Juvenile Justice Initiative.43)

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