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State lawmakers to discuss "Raise the Age" Tuesday morning

Posted at 9:59 AM, Apr 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-16 11:34:57-04

LANSING, Mich.  — 17-year-olds in Michigan can currently be tried and sentenced as adults, but a plan is set to change that.

The proposed legislation in the state house would "Raise the Age" for juvenile court jurisdiction to 18-years-old.

Michigan is just one of four states that automatically treats 17-year-olds as adults in the justice system, even for the lowest of misdemeanors.

The legislation would do a number of things like allow 17-year-olds to be treated as minors in most circumstances.

Prosecutors would still have discretion allowing them to try minors as adults if they commit serious crimes.

The sponsors of the legislation say raising the age would help rehabilitate young offenders.

Skeptics of the plan are worried about funding.

Similar efforts failed in the state legislature two years ago because the legislation didn't include a funding plan.

The new proposal would give money back to counties if their juvenile cases cost more with this new legislation.

Lawmakers in the senate introduced similar legislation aimed at raising the age earlier this year as well.

The State House Judiciary Committee is set to discuss the bill package at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning.

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