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Reforming Justice for Young Adults

Time to Rethink How We Serve this Critical Population

October 14, 2015 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Join us on October 14th at 6:00 PM for a discussion of recent research on young adults from MassINC and the Executive Session on Community Corrections (2013-2016), including the inaugural report from a brand-new series ‘New Thinking in Community Corrections’ which focuses on the latest science and thinking, written by Executive Session members Vincent Schiraldi, Bruce Western, and Kendra Bradner.


The human brain has been clinically shown to not fully mature until we reach our mid-20s. New research envisions a system that extends the reach of the juvenile court to reflect a modern understanding of the transition into adulthood. Approaches could include raising the age of juvenile court jurisdiction to 21, with additional, gradually diminishing protections for young adults up to age 24 or 25; age-responsive reforms within adult criminal justice agencies; and community-based supports tailored to this age group.

Most people who ever have a felony record obtain that record before age 25 and most people who commit a felony ‘age out’ of criminality by age 25. If young people can reach age 25 without a criminal record and without prison experience, their likelihood of ever having such a record/experience drops significantly. As the nation grapples with the best way to end mass incarceration, developing an approach to reducing the penetration of young adults into the criminal justice system is of paramount importance.

Event Details

  • Register for this event to attend in person or via livestream
  • Harvard Law School | Ames Courtroom, Austin Hall | 1515 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge |6:00 PM
  • Directions


  • The Honorable Gloria Tan (Moderator), Associate Justice, Middlesex Division, Massachusetts Juvenile Court
  • Molly Baldwin, Founder and CEO, Roca, Inc.
  • D’Quame Brown, Current Youth Participant, Roca, Inc.
  • Adam Foss, Assistant District Attorney, Juvenile Division, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
  • Vincent Schiraldi, Senior Research Fellow, Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Wendy Still, Chief Probation Officer (retired), San Francisco Adult Probation 


This event is sponsored by the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management (HKS), MassINC., The Criminal Justice Program of Study, Research, & Advocacy (HLS), and the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy (HKS).