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Support HB3718 and Transfer Reform for Illinois Youth

Children are not adults.

This simple fact is often lost in Illinois’ Automatic Transfer law which allows children as young as 13 to be charged as adults for certain crimes. The practice of automatic transfers not only runs counter to everything we know about brain development, but is also frequently discriminatory. Research from the Juvenile Justice Initiative shows that children of color are more likely to be charged as adults than children who are White: out of 323 children subjected to automatic transfer, 85% were African American, 13% were Hispanic, and only three children were White.

On May 6, 2015, transfer reform bill senate amendments #1 to House Bill 3718 passed out of the Senate Criminal Law Committee. This bill would grant juvenile court judges greater discretion in determining whether youth should be tried as juveniles or adults and represents a huge victory for youth in Illinois.

Health & Medicine's Court-Involved Youth Project encourages you to tell your state representative that you believe that Illinois children should be treated as children. Call your representative and ask them to support amendment 1 to HB3718. The progress that has been made is due to the support of advocates like you, and your continued support is essential to ensure passage of this vital legislation.