The Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony this morning as lawmakers consider bills to “Raise the Age” within the juvenile justice system.
Now prosecutors can decide to charge 17-year-olds as adults in Michigan courtrooms.
But if this package of bills passes, for minor offenses 17-year-olds would be considered and tried as juveniles.
Prosecutors could still charge them as adults for violent crimes.
Supporters of the “Raise the Age” legislation, say it’s a cost-saver by keeping kids out of expensive cells and it will protect teens from interacting with hardened, adult criminals.
“It’s very important to raise the age. Save the taxpayers money, get a better benefit in service instead of punititve measures that is all that the criminal justice system and the adult system have to offer,” said state Sen. Peter Lucido.
Today, the committee heard from officials from juvenile detention centers in the Detroit area.
It plans to meet again next week.