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Kids don't belong
in the adult system.

Right now, children as young as 14 are automatically charged as if they were adults for 33 offenses in Maryland.

Automatically charging kids as if they were adults puts them in danger, makes our communities less safe, and wastes resources.

We can do better.

Maryland must pass the Youth Equity & Safety Act.

What is the Youth Equity & Safety Act?

The Youth Equity & Safety Act, or the YES Act, is common-sense legislation that would end the practice of automatically charging youth as young as 14 in adult court for certain charges. It is a research-based crime reduction policy which would also help reduce the overrepresentation of youth of color in the Maryland court system and provide more opportunities for rehabilitation. It does not stop a prosecutor from seeking to move up a teenager’s case to adult court, but ensures that all cases begin in juvenile court with the option to be moved up. Research shows spending time in the adult system makes young people more likely to reoffend, puts them increased risk of physical and sexual assault and isolation from their families, and is incredibly expensive.

Why say YES to the Youth Equity & Safety Act?

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