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Measure Raising Age Minors Can Be Sentenced To Adult Prison Advances

Hands of a young child clutching prison bars - Selective focus.
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A bill in the Florida legislature would increase the age for a child to be tried in adult court. The measure would raise the allowable age from 14 to 15-years-old. Bill Sponsor, Orlando Democratic Senator Randolph Bracy, says the change will give minors a better chance at not becoming lifetime criminals.

"When we talk about rehabilitating children it’s almost impossible when they go to an adult prison," said Bracy. "Recidivism is almost assured because of the trauma that happens when they go to an adult prison."

Records show in the last fiscal year 23 kids who were either 13 or 14-years-old were transferred to adult court.

The Florida Smart Justice Alliance opposes the bill. The group says the decision about whether a child should be tried in adult court should be left to local state attorneys.

Blaise Gainey is a State Government Reporter for WFSU News. Blaise hails from Windermere, Florida. He graduated from The School of Journalism at the Florida A&M University. He formerly worked for The Florida Channel, WTXL-TV, and before graduating interned with WFSU News. He is excited to return to the newsroom. In his spare time he enjoys watching sports, Netflix, outdoor activities and anything involving his daughter.