While Colorado legislators chose not to deal with the issue of retroactive unjust juvenile sentences, others are learning that the United States, as a whole, are behind the rest of the world in justice policies. There are many nations who have found that the practices which the United States embraces concerning juvenile criminal justice policies are counterproductive and destructive.
For instance Germany has been treating 18-21 year olds in juvenile court since 1953. The Netherlands raised the age for juvenile court to encompass 23 year olds in 2014. These nations have taken full consideration of the research which outlines the juvenile brain development and that juveniles are very amenable to treatment and rehabilitation. The focus of European facilities is focussed on education, psychological treatment, training and community service. The result is that the juvenile, NO MATTER THE SEVERITY OF THE CRIME, is valued, treated and given the opportunity to redeem him/herself and then be restored to community. NO MATTER THE SEVERITY OF THE CRIME. AND THE SYSTEM WORKS!
Recently advocates for juvenile justice reform and other dignitaries from the United States had the opportunity to share their experience as they toured several European facilities and spoke with the professionals there. Please read ON
"England is not the only European country that is transforming its justice system to consider the maturity and educational needs of youth and young adults, with the goal of increasing the juvenile age to 21. Germany has been treating 18 to 21 year olds in juvenile court since 1953. Prison sentences range from five to 10 years, even for the most serious offenders, and are served in special youth prisons that offer a wide range of education and vocational training."
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