Are 18-year-olds really adults? The Effects of the ‘Raise the Age’ Legislation

KD Law Group |

Are 18-year-olds really adults? The Effects of the ‘Raise the Age’ Legislation

On Behalf of Kirsch Daskas Law Group | Aug 4, 2020 | Juvenile Crimes |

The “Raise the Age” legislation will take effect in October of 2021. It will positively impact the lives of countless teens under 18 for years to come. The legislation allows for the raise of the maximum age of juvenile court jurisdiction from 17 to 18, prohibits the placements of juveniles under 18 in an adult penal facility, and establishes substantial funding for teens between the ages of 17 and 18 who have been adjudicated in Juvenile Court.

For years prior, 17-year-olds have been unjustly accused as adults for crimes that would only moderately affect their criminal record if tried as a minor. As Governor Whitmer signed this legislation into law, it leads the citizens of Michigan to identify the strong, positive lasting impacts a criminal record has on our children. This new law will significantly cut down on pretrial detention and confinement. It allows children to continue their education and engage in meaningful experiences before stepping foot into adulthood.

Raising the maximum age of juvenile court jurisdiction keeps our children safe, as they are at highest risk for physical and sexual abuse in adult facilities. The trauma from these experiences is also known to increase recidivism. While many of these children face the trauma from past experiences being placed in an adult penal facility as a minor, others struggle with pre-existing mental health issues. Children in the juvenile justice system have been found to correlate with those who have mental illnesses. As a 17-year-olds brain is still maturing, raising the age allows a child to develop through adolescence before being treated like an adult.

Eliminating 17-year-olds from adult penal facilities also benefits taxpayers. With the maximum age being 17, the juvenile justice system says that taxpayers would face increased costs. Teenagers have shown decreased rates of recidivism in addition to moving past delinquency and successfully transitioning into adulthood if they are served by the juvenile justice system and not the criminal justice system. Therefore, raising the maximum age to 18 grants more teenagers the opportunity to end up in a good place.

Many teens face these struggles everyday being accused of crimes. If your child is facing wrongful placement in an adult penal facility, pick up the phone and fight. Kirsch Daskas Law Group PLLC will protect your child’s rights. We will fight for you and be there to offer many options. Contact Kirsch Daskas Law Group PLLC to defend your rights and ensure a successful future.