500 R.I. Teens Fall Into ‘Gap’ as Adults

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The Providence (R.I.) Journal

More than 500 17-year-olds are making their way through Rhode Island’s adult justice system because they had the misfortune of being arrested between July 1 and Nov. 8, 2007, state Attorney General Patrick Lynch says. For crimes ranging from alcohol possession to robbery, some will serve time in state prison while others will get probation, but all will have criminal records for life. The reason: a short-lived state law that legislators hoped would save money by treating the youths as adults. The law was repealed after the savings quickly proved questionable. The Journal depicts the plight of the so-called “gap kids” as a case study of uninformed policymaking. Nov. 11, http://www.projo.com.