On Thursday, the Texas House is scheduled to take up HB 122, a critical bill for Texas children.
Today in Texas all 17-year-olds are sent to the adult criminal justice system when they get in trouble, no matter how minor their crime.
HB 122, by JJFI Committee Chair Harold Dutton, would hold 17-year-olds accountable in the juvenile justice system while maintaining the option of certifying them as adults when deemed appropriate. Senator Bryan Hughes has filed the companion bill in the Senate.
The new report by our Raise the Age coalition provides new data showing the importance of passing the bill.
There is broad support for HB 122. In fact, during the House hearing, 57 organizations and individuals registered for it, and only one registered against it.
Here is a sample of endorsements of the policy change proposed in HB 122:
- Our op-ed
- An op-ed by the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation
- An op-ed by the Texas Association of Business
- An op-ed by Texas CASA (regarding the importance of the bill for children in foster care)
- An op-ed by Harris County Juvenile Judge Mike Schneider (also addressing the impact on youth in foster care)
- An op-ed by the Texas PTA
- The 2015 report by the Texas House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence
- An editorial by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram
- An editorial by the San Antonio Express-News
- An editorial by the Houston Chronicle
- An editorial by the Dallas Morning News
We're glad to see so much support raising the age, and we look forward to getting the job done soon!