Thursday, September 15, 2011

Children under 10 - Interim Judiciary Hearing

Lexington Herald-Leader

No Criminal Charges for Children 10 or Younger, Officials Suggest to Legislators

Each year, the misbehavior of about 400 Kentucky children 10 or younger — some as young as 5 — results in criminal complaints on charges including harassment, assault and being beyond the control of an adult.

On Wednesday, three state officials asked legislators on the Interim Joint Committee on Judiciary for a law that would prohibit children 10 or younger from facing criminal charges. Instead, their misbehavior would be addressed through the social service system.

The legislative committee is hearing testimony to see what changes might need to be made during the 2012 General Assembly to current laws, which according to a state court official have allowed 2,704 children 10 or younger to be criminally charged from 2005 to 2010.