Lawmakers Talk Juvenile Justice Reforms

A group of Michigan lawmakers has been hearing from judges and other court officials as they consider legislation that would raise the age of those tried as adults to 18 years old. The Michigan Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee heard from supporters Thursday morning. They said the legislation is needed to keep those under 18 from going into adult prisons. Judge Dorene Allen with the Michigan Probate Judges Association was the first to testify.

“In order for us to do our job, is for us to put the key measures for that child in place so we never see that child again in the criminal justice system,” Allen said.

Allen says the point of the juvenile court system is to rehabilitate young offenders. She added they’ll need additional funding to handle the influx of juvenile cases if the law is changed.