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  • Writer's pictureScott Shellenberger

Annapolis lawmakers pass juvenile law reform, widening scope for prosecuting minors

By Vincent Hill | Fox45 News | April 5, 2024 | Original Source


In the last hours of the day on Friday, lawmakers in Annapolis voted to pass House Bill 814, the Juvenile Law Reform.


Fox45 spoke with Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger regarding what the changes will mean when it comes to prosecuting juveniles.


“One of the big things it does, is it allows us to charge 10- to 12-year-olds with some more crimes than we currently can," said Shellenberger.


House Bill 814 looks to make changes, which allow charging kids as young as 10 years old with stolen auto, for the first time, placing them under a CINS petition, or child in need of supervision.


“We’re still talking about charging in the juvenile system, folks aren’t going to jail. They are just getting found delinquent so that the juvenile service administration can enter that family’s life and try to give them the help and support that they need," said Shellenberger.


The bill would also require a pre-detention hearing, while in DJS custody, for juveniles charged with a first-time gun offense.


“Which gives my prosecutors more power to do things and will give the juvenile services administration the ability to do more also," said Shellenberger.

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