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October 22, 2001

All grown up? Teens, policymakers
discuss adult trials for juveniles

California high school students and state leaders will discuss whether juveniles should sometimes be prosecuted as adults from 1 to 2 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 25 in the State Capitol room 437.

The town hall meeting is sponsored by the LegiSchool Project at California State University, Sacramento.

It will focus on Proposition 21, which was approved by California voters in March 2000 and allows prosecutors to charge young people between the ages of 14 and 17 as adults for certain offenses. The California Supreme Court is currently reviewing whether Proposition 21 is constitutional.

Questions to be addressed include: How far should society go in holding minors accountable violent crimes? At a time when juvenile crime is decreasing, have policymakers and voters overreacted? If found constitutional, are certain groups more likely to be subject to Proposition 21 than others?

Among the panelists will be Bruce Chan, chief consultant for the Assembly Public Safety Committee. Panelists and audience participants will also include students from Elk Creek High in Elk Creek, Monroe Law and Government Magnet in North Hills, Paradise High in Paradise, Sacramento Lutheran High in Sacramento and Salisbury High in Red Bluff. Thousands of other students in California will view the meeting on the California Channel or on videotape. Paula Gardner, a professor from the CSUS College of Education, will moderate.

The LegiSchool Project is an award-winning civic education project of CSUS and the State Legislature, administered by the Center for California Studies. The project's mission is to engage young people in public policy and state government.

More information is available by contacting Kolleen Ostgaard, LegiSchool project director, at (916) 278-6906 or by visiting www.csus.edu/calst/legischool.htm. Media assistance is available by contacting CSUS public affairs at (916) 278-6156.


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