We OPPOSE SB 419 (Sen. Stanley)/ HB 718 (Del. Kilgore)
These bills greatly expand the number of youth who would be transferred to the adult court, both automatically and through the prosecutor's unilateral power. Putting more youth into the adult criminal system is harmful both to them and to public safety. Juvenile crime rates are falling in Virginia, specifically intake rates for the offenses included in this legislation have all fallen by 50% or more since 2007. The youth who would be covered by this bill can already be transferred to the adult system through a judicial process that takes into account all the information about that young person. This is a better approach than making the transfer automatic or through the prosecutor's discretion.