New law makes it easier to sentence youths to diversion programs
Governor Rick Snyder has signed a law that encourages judges to send younger offenders into alternatives to jail and programs that put them into contact with adults who commit crimes.
The goal is to expand services already available to help young offenders turn around their lives and clear their records.
Kristen Staley is with the Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency. She says teens with criminal records have a tougher time succeeding later in life.
“It makes it harder to get a job when you get older. It makes it harder to apply for colleges, or for certain types of housing.”
Staley also says teens sent to adult programs are more likely to re-offend than teens who are sent to a diversionary program.
Staley says the next step is to extend that sort of help to 18-year-olds who are charged with crimes.