May 22, 2017

SF Young Adult Court in the News!

Two recent articles highlighted the importance and impact of the San Francisco Young Adult Court.

The New York Times
"A California Court for Young Adults Calls on Science"
By Tim Requart
April 17, 2017

Photo: Laura Morton / The New York Times

"Surprisingly, this alternative legal philosophy springs not from concerns about overcrowded prisons or overburdened courts, but from neuroscience.

"Researchers have long known that the adolescent brain is continually rewiring itself, making new connections and pruning unnecessary neurons as it matures. Only recently has it become clear that the process stretches well into early adulthood.

"Buried in that research is an uncomfortable legal question: If their brains have not fully matured, how responsible are adults ages 18 to 24 for their crimes?

"Should they be treated more like adolescents, handled in the comparatively lenient juvenile system, or more like hardened 35-year-olds? Should young adults be held fully responsible for certain crimes but not others?"

The San Francisco Chronicle
"Programs in sanctuary cities threatened by federal funding cut"
By Emily Green
March 30, 2017

"In San Francisco, an innovative court program that helps young adults facing criminal charges or who have already been convicted pull their lives together began in 2015 with the help of a Justice Department grant. A team of city employees helps the defendants find jobs, housing and enroll in school. If a defendant meets the goals — about a third graduate — they earn a reduced criminal record or even no record at all."

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