Dual sentencing for youth offenders fails in Senate committee | KOB 4
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Dual sentencing for youth offenders fails in Senate committee

Joy Wang
February 13, 2018 11:47 PM

SANTA FE, N.M -- A bill that would give adult sentences to some young offenders failed to make it out of committee Tuesday.

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This was the fourth year legislators have tried to pass this bill, saying it would help keep juveniles out of trouble.

At places like La Plazita Institute, which has seen dozens of young offenders go through its program, they say it would do more harm than good. The center spends five days a week on projects and activities aimed at bettering youth for rehabilitation.

"It's the individual that we have to look at," said Susan Reyes, who works at the center. "We have to look at a system that's broken and a system that's not creating opportunity for our youth. If we are able to fix the system then we are able to provide rehabilitation to our younger men and women in the community."

Reyes said rehabilitating the youth gives them a chance to be a part of the community instead of just sitting behind bars.

The issue has come up recently in the Nehemiah Griego case. He was sentenced to treatment as a juvenile for killing his family at the age of 15. The state is fighting his scheduled release next month when he turns 21.

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Joy Wang

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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