• Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency

What Happens after Raising the Age?

Throughout states that Raised the Age (RTA), not only are youth being treated more effectively, but young adults aged 18 to 29 are significantly disappearing from the criminal justice system.

Adults under 25 are less likely to be arrested.

While most states are experiencing fewer adult arrest rates, RTA states are seeing a dramatic drop in arrest numbers among 18- to 24-year-olds. Since 2008, arrests of 18- to 24-year-olds decreased by an average of 36% among RTA states and only 16% nationally.

-Connecticut cut arrests by 49%

-Massachusetts cut arrests by 35%

-New Hampshire cut arrests by 14%

RTA counties are also keeping young adults out of their justice system. In Cook County, Illinois, home of Chicago:

-Arrests dropped by 35% among adults under 25

-Arrests dropped by 69% specifically among 18-year-olds

Prisons are no longer filled with adults under 30.

-Since 2010, prison populations of adults under 30 declined an average of 26% within RTA states

-In Mississippi, among states with the highest rates of incarceration in the US

--Reduced 18- to 19-year-old populations by 53%

--Reduced 20- to 29-year-old populations by 32%

Fewer youth enter the justice system.

Raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction rarely happens alone. Other states included companion changes to their juvenile justice systems while raising the age to ensure lasting success, including expansion of diversion programs, increased access to juvenile defenders, and reduced use of detention.

-Two years after RTA, Mississippi’s total youth population in the juvenile justice system dropped 12%.

-Six years after Raising the Age, Illinois’ juvenile court petitions reduced by 27%.

-Three years after RTA, youth pretrial detention numbers in Connecticut decreased by nearly 30% and youth under 18 in the state’s adult prisons dropped from 403 in 2007 to 151 in 2012.

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