Imagine only seeing the sun for one hour a day while crammed into a 6-by-8-foot cell. Now imagine that you are only 16 years old, yet to be found guilty, and you are spending your days in an adult jail when you should be in school or spending time with your family. This is the reality of many children charged as adults through “direct file.”
The Urban League of Philadelphia stands in strong support of the bipartisan legislation we introduced that would eliminate the practice of automatically charging children as adults without the review of a Family Court judge. Our legislation would require that all cases against children originate in juvenile court, while still allowing for a child to be charged as an adult in some cases. However, the decision would be made by a juvenile court judge, who is best equipped to make this determination.
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