Michigan is one of only four states that automatically prosecutes all 17-year-olds as adults for any offense. Although the bill was introduced nearly two years ago, it wasn’t until this past Thursday that the Senate Judiciary Committee Meeting heard from fellow legislators of the bill’s implications. Here is Senator Sylvia Santana, one of the lead sponsors of the bill.
“In my humble opinion MDOC is not equipped to raise children in the adult system nor support their cognitive needs to get them back on the right track.”
Kent County has not yet taken a stance on Raise the Age, but Circuit Court Administrator Andrew Thalhammer says he believes there will still be a need for adult detention services for some 17 year olds.
“Without dumping people on the sheriff’s department, I think they are much more equipped to deal with some of those kids.”
The bill packages introduced provides funding avenues so that the entire cost of housing 17 year olds in the juvenile system doesn’t fall solely on each county.
Michelle Jokisch Polo, WGVU News.