This according to a top Chicagoland judge, who wants to create a dedicated court for those aged 18-26 that are charged with criminal offenses in Cook County. Writing in a newsletter published by the state Supreme Court, Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans said a proposed Young Adults Court (YAC) would stand between the juvenile and adult court systems in catering to the special needs of the age group. It would operate alongside diversion programs aimed at reducing recidivism among youthful offenders, whom Evans notes are at the mercy of still-developing neurological functions and thus susceptible to the errors in cognition that researchers say can enable criminal behavior.
Working from blueprints of YACs that are in place in several jurisdictions around the country, Evans envisions the Cook County scheme comprising behavioral therapy, drug treatment and job training pillars that would prepare young offenders to make positive contributions to their communities. Like other diversion programs operating at county level, a YAC would allow offenders to avoid the appearance of convictions on their records. These include deferred prosecution, a restorative justice court that addresses misdemeanor and non-violent cases outside of adult court, and the expungeable probation applied in gun cases.
The Criminal Defense Attorneys at The Chicagoland Law Firm help clients, including young adults and first-offenders, that face charges in Cook County, DuPage County and in courts around the state. Our team of legal professionals are expert at assessing the options those charged with crimes face and creating the defense strategies that achieve the best outcomes possible in their cases. Contact our offices in Chicago and Downers Grove for a free consultation to learn more about the services we provide and the options available to you if you have been charged with a crime. We are your best defense.