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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​“Raise the Floor” is a nationwide effort by individuals and organizations to raise the minimum age at which a youth may be prosecuted as an adult. 

The adult court system was never designed for children, yet thousands of kids, some as young as 12, are charged as adults every year. They enter a system that leaves them exposed to violence, abuse, crippling periods of solitary confinement and a heightened risk for suicide. It doesn’t have to be this way.

When children violate the law, justice can be served without sacrificing opportunities for rehabilitation, restoration and redemption. Given the right interventions and support, no child is beyond hope.

During his life, Boys Town founder Father Edward Flanagan condemned the many unjust and brutal systems that failed America’s youth. He stood with children labeled bad, intrinsically flawed or irredeemable and guided them toward recovery and a second chance.

Inspired by his example, Boys Town is committed to ensuring that today’s children are given the opportunity for rehabilitation in a juvenile justice system that responds appropriately to their physical, psychological and emotional needs as opposed to adult systems that are punitive and focused only on punishment.

Prosecuting, sentencing and incarcerating children as adults too often slams shut any hope they have to turn their lives around and become productive members of society. Help us “Raise the Floor” and improve the juvenile justice system in every state. ​

legacy and planned giving

Hear from Father Steven Boes, Boys Town President and National Executive Director


Hear From Boys Town youth on their quest for reform.


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