The last 25 years of improving brain science has taught us that the human brain does not fully develop until our mid-twenties.1,2 However, current law allows D.C.’s unelected prosecutors to treat children as adults for certain crimes, without a hearing before a judge. Prosecutors are 18 times more likely to treat Black children as adults than White children. The District should treat all children in a developmentally appropriate manner. This bill would not prohibit charging children as adults, but would strengthen due process, by requiring a judge first consider individualized information about each child.
Status: Not passed in 2022. Must be reintroduced.