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Emerging Adults in the Criminal Justice System Task Force

(Boston- Jan. 22, 2019) Today the Emerging Adults in the Criminal Justice System Task Force held its first meeting. The Task Force, co-chaired by Senator Cynthia Stone Creem (D-Newton) and Representative Paul Tucker (D-Salem), is charged with examining the advisability of changing the age of juvenile court jurisdiction to include defendants younger than 21 years of age, as well as making recommendations for changes that could make the adult criminal justice system more developmentally appropriate for young adults, aged 18 to 24.

“This Task Force will further the important work of last year’s Criminal Justice Reform law,” said Senator Creem. “We are seeking to make sure our criminal justice system emphasizes the rehabilitation of young adults so they can get their lives back on track to become full members of society.”

"This task force represents an opportunity to build on the recent Criminal Justice reform legislation and, given the breadth of task force members’ experience, I expect a thorough report and solid recommendations for lawmakers to consider," said Representative Tucker.

In its first meeting, the Task Force discussed suggestions for how to cover its ambitious charge by the July 1st, 2019 deadline. The next meeting will focus on the psychology of youth development and the change between youth and adult brains.

Members of the Task Force include Commissioner Peter Forbes, Department of Youth Services; Jennifer Queally, Undersecretary for Law Enforcement for EOPSS; Margaret Chow-Menzer, Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Youth Services; Spencer Lord, EOPSS Director of Policy; Rhiana Kohl, Director of the Department of Corrections’ Office of Strategic Planning and Research; Michael Coelho; Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Probation; Marian Ryan, Middlesex County District Attorney; Anthony Gulluni, Hampden County District Attorney; Peter Koutoujian, Middlesex County Sheriff; Ron DeRosa, Administrative Attorney for the Boston Municipal Court; Thomas Capasso, Juvenile Court Deputy Court Administrator; Zachary Hillman, General Counsel for the District Court; Bridget Nichols, Manager of Juvenile Forensic Services for the Juvenile Court Clinic; Melissa Dineen, attorney for Committee for Public Counsel Services; Paul Faria, Staff Representative AFSCME Council 93; Adam Maccini, Detective of the Town of Middleton Police; Sana Fadel, Executive Director, Citizens for Juvenile Justice; and Maryann Davis, UMass Medical Center Professor of Psychiatry.

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