22. Juvenile justice; certain chronic and violent juvenile offenders prosecuted as adults; community alternatives for certain juvenile offenders; public proceedings and records
Section 22. In order to preserve and protect the right of the people to justice and public safety, and to ensure fairness and accountability when juveniles engage in unlawful conduct, the legislature, or the people by initiative or referendum, shall have the authority to enact substantive and procedural laws regarding all proceedings and matters affecting such juveniles. The following rights, duties, and powers shall govern such proceedings and matters:
1. Juveniles 15 years of age or older accused of murder, forcible sexual assault, armed robbery or other violent felony offenses as defined by statute shall be prosecuted as adults. Juveniles 15 years of age or older who are chronic felony offenders as defined by statute shall be prosecuted as adults. Upon conviction all such juveniles shall be subject to the same laws as adults, except as specifically provided by statute and by article 22, section 16 of this constitution. All other juveniles accused of unlawful conduct shall be prosecuted as provided by law. Every juvenile convicted of or found responsible for unlawful conduct shall make prompt restitution to any victims of such conduct for their injury or loss.
2. County attorneys shall have the authority to defer the prosecution of juveniles who are not accused of violent offenses and who are not chronic felony offenders as defined by statute and to establish community-based alternatives for resolving matters involving such juveniles.
3. All proceedings and matters involving juveniles accused of unlawful conduct shall be open to the public and all records of those proceedings shall be public records. Exceptions shall be made only for the protection of the privacy of innocent victims of crime, or when a court of competent jurisdiction finds a clear public interest in confidentiality.