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Juvenile Sentencing and Public Safety

April 6, 2021
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WRITTEN BY Jenny Bratburd, Rachel Owen

Under SB 1, a child between the ages of 12 and 18 years may be tried in a court of general jurisdiction and prosecuted under general law for the offenses of unlawful use of weapons and armed criminal action, among other provisions.

According to the Missouri Department of Corrections, the proposed legislation does not provide any new penalties or offenses, but increases the likelihood that a juvenile could be transferred to a court of general jurisdiction and sentenced there under section 571.015 and/or section 571.030. Information received from the Office of State Courts Administrator indicates that in CY 19, the offenses outlined in this proposal under section 571.030 and section 571.015 would account for an additional 307 orders for certification hearings - 68 of which were armed criminal action offenses and 92 were misdemeanors.

If transferred to a court of general jurisdiction, children would potentially be eligible for the Missouri Dual Jurisdiction Program - a blended sentencing option in which a juvenile and adult sentence is simultaneously imposed with the execution of the adult sentence suspended.

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