Poll Shows Michiganders Support Keeping Youth Under 18 Out of Adult Prisons
- School-to-Prison Pipeline
- Child Welfare Crossover
- Mental Health
- Juvenile Defense
- Juvenile Competency
- In-Home Care Incentive
- PREA, Isolation, Restraint
- Youth in Adult System
- Juvenile Life Without Parole
- Youth Reentry
Nearly two-thirds of Michigan voters believe that youth under the age of 18 who are in trouble with the law should not be placed in prison or jails with adults, according to a new poll released by Public Policy Associates Inc. While most of the individuals polled acknowledged a belief that there are circumstances when a youth’s case should be transferred to the adult criminal court, 64% of the respondents stated that youthful offenders should not be housed in adult correctional facilities. The results of the poll indicate that a majority of Michigan residents support the belief that prison and jails that house older, adult inmates are not adequately equipped to rehabilitate young offenders and whenever possible, justice-involved youth under 18 should remain in the juvenile justice system. This growing public support is backed by research showing that the developmentally-appropriate programming of the juvenile courts, along with professional staff and treatment providers who are specifically trained to work with youth offenders and their families are able to more effectively rehabilitate young people than the adult courts and correctional facilities.
The laws in Michigan are unfortunately lagging behind the shift public perception. Michigan is one only of nine remaining states that automatically considers all 17 year-olds as adults whenever they are charged with a crime, and some of those other states are discussing potential changes to their laws. By raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction to 18, Michigan’s treatment of youth offenders will better align the standards adhered to by forty-one states, the federal government, and international guidelines. It will also reflect the belief of the majority of its citizens.
Posted by MCCD on Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 @ 2:00PM
Categories: In the News, Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency