Pandemic could pose a problem for ‘Raise the Age’ initiative

Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 5:00 PM EST
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - The Scott administration says the pandemic is having an impact on their ability to expand the “Raise the Age” initiative later this year. That program automatically tries juveniles in family court and is aimed at keeping young offenders out of prison.

Nineteen-year-olds are slated to be brought into the system this July.

But the Scott administration wants to wait until the summer of 2024.

“Given there are so many unknowns about the pandemic and how long we’re going to be working under the impacts and the challenges of the pandemic, and given the work we will need to do to solidify across the board our systems of care,” said Sean Brown, the commissioner of the Vermont Department for Children and Families.

DCF also wants to exclude aggravated domestic assault and reckless endangerment from Raise the Age.

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