Santana’s legislation to classify 17-year-olds as juveniles clears full Senate

LANSING – Legislation by Sen. Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit) to prosecute individuals under the age of 18 who are convicted of a crime as juveniles instead of adults has passed the Senate and will now head to the House for consideration.

“I’m so pleased to see this overdue legislation move with such vigor this session because the longer we wait on providing true justice to these children, the more we have failed them,” Sen. Santana said. “The idea that we ‘get tough on crime’ has only made us tough on kids whose knowledge of right and wrong is still in development. Youth incarceration of nonviolent offenders has shown no improvement in public safety; it only makes the path of rehabilitation more trying, and difficult, for both the youth and their family.”

The full 14-bill package (Senate Bills 84, and 90-102) includes both Democrat and Republican sponsors. Santana is the lead sponsor on Senate Bills 92, 95 and 102, which would:

Michigan is one of only four states in the nation that automatically tries 17-year-olds as adults. National research has shown this practice is not only detrimental in terms of reoffending upon release, but also bad for the youth’s physical and mental health.

“I am thankful to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for giving this issue the due diligence it deserves, and I look forward to continuing to work with like-minded individuals in the House to get this legislation to the governor and on the books,” Sen. Santana added.

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