By Sheriff Leon Lott
I’ve experienced many changes over the years in our criminal justice system – some good, some not so good – and I am concerned that one law beneficial to our young people might slip through our fingers.
Three years ago, then-Gov. Nikki Haley signed legislation that raised the age at which a teenager accused of a criminal offense is tried in adult court. The age was upped from 17 to 18, except for serious crimes.
This legislation will result in more young people entering the family court system here in S.C., which is structured to address the particular needs of adolescents. This is the kind of law that can save a teen and turn lives around. Moreover, research has shown that age-appropriate services and placements can help keep young people from reoffending.
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