The delegates at the state Convention agreed to engage our members in a concurrence on the issue referred to as “Raise the Age.” New York is the only state other than North Carolina that prosecutes ALL youth 16 years of age and older as adults. LWV Ohio conducted a full study and several updates on the issue of Juvenile Justice and arrived at Juvenile Justice positions.
Paramount in their positions is the principle that children under the age of 18 are not adults and “their treatment within the juvenile justice system should relate to their stage of development,” that the purpose of juvenile justice should be rehabilitation, and that the legal rights of juveniles should be protected. We will be asking members to concur with some, but not all, of the Ohio position.
By mid-August, we will distribute materials, including a Powerpoint presentation, articles, etc, on this issue. We ask that each local League schedule a meeting during the Fall 2015 to present the materials and ask members to concur with the Ohio position. The results will be due into the state office by January 1 so that if agreement is reached, we can lobby on this new position during the next legislative session. Include this concurrence in your calendar for a Fall meeting.