Juvenile Justice Experts Agree: "It's Time to Raise the Age
Daquann Harrison, Youth Advocate, explains how the juvenile system is better suited to meet the needs of 17-year-olds. Helping them to continue their studies and meeting their mental and emotional needs more adequately than the adult system.
At 17, Briana was charged as an adult for an altercation with other teenagers. Now, working on her graduate degree, those charges have followed her throughout her life, impacting everything from career decisions to college pathway.
Mary Beth Kelly
Former Justice Mary Beth Kelly "17-year-olds deserve to be treated like 17-year-olds for all purposes, not just for some purposes." 17-year-olds can't vote, enter a legal contract, get a tattoo or serve on a jury, but in Michigan we require that they be charged as an adult for any crime.
Cameron Clark, Director of Youth Services for the 19th Circuit Court, has witnessed what labeling youth as adult criminals can do to them in the long run.
"Not stamping them as adult criminals goes a long way towards how they feel about themselves and their ability to stay within the community and be functioning members"
Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton recently added his endorsement to the growing list of law enforcement officials who support Raise the Age legislation.
"When you take hope away from someone, you don't leave them a lot of avenues to go moving forward" - Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton.