The State of Michigan does not allow 17-year-olds to:
Drop out of school
Enter into a legal contract
Enlist in the military without parental consent
Serve on a jury
Vote in elections
Live independently from their parent or guardian
Purchase or use tobacco
Work in jobs involving cash transactions without adult supervision
Access firearms without adult supervision
Get a tattoo without parental consent
Rent a hotel room
Purchase a lottery ticket
Rent a car
Michigan requires all 17-year-olds to be charged and treated as adults if arrested for any offense.
Lawmakers have determined that children younger than 18 are not yet mature enough to vote, enlist in the military, serve on a jury, sign a binding contract, or purchase alcohol. Yet, if they become in trouble with the law, even for a minor, non-violent offense, they are automatically prosecuted as an adult, face a possible prison sentence, and can have a lifelong conviction.
46 other states allow 17-year-olds to access rehabilitative services only available in the juvenile justice system. Of those that have recently amended their laws, increased public safety, cost‐savings, and improved outcomes for youth were the reason for change.
It’s time for Michigan to raise the age!