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Supporters of juvenile justice reform hopeful in Maryland

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Supporters of juvenile justice reform in Maryland are hopeful the time has come to end the policy of automatically charging children as adults for certain crimes.

It's a policy that has been changed in other states around the country over the past 15 years.

Supporters of reform say juveniles who are charged as adults are more likely to receive longer sentences than youth who are charged with similar crimes in juvenile court.

They also say the practice disproportionately affects minorities and undermines the goal of rehabilitating young offenders.

Opponents of ending the policy entirely, however, say they’re concerned about putting dangerous juveniles in facilities that aren't secure enough.