Amendments to Holmes Youthful Trainee Act Increases Age Limit, Changes Policies and Guidelines
- 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
By: Barry Lewis
More youth will be given an opportunity to clear their criminal conviction under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA) due to legislation signed by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder in May.
HYTA allows young adults convicted of certain lower-level offenses to serve up to three years on probation, in jail, or in prison without the risk of a permanent record. This serves as a deferment from a permanent criminal conviction as long as the person granted HYTA status avoids getting into any more trouble. If the “trainee” acquires new charges or violates court orders while under HYTA status, a judge can revoke the current status and implement the normal charges to be on record permanently.
For years, HYTA has only been available to young adults aged 17 to 20. But the recent changes, effective August 18th 2015, will increase the age of eligibility from 20 to 23. Prosecutors will retain the discretion to award or deny HYTA status for the newly included 21-23 year olds.
Additional changes to the HYTA statue include:
- Limiting the use of prison from 3 to 2 years;
- Automatic revocation of HYTA status for those convicted of an assaultive crime or felony firearm;
- Requirement of electronic monitoring for all HYTA youth aged 21 or older in addition to probation, jail or prison sentence
These changes come during an important time when criminal justice and juvenile justice reform are topics of growing debate. Recently, Governor Rick Synder called for an end of the cycle of crime in May 2015’s Special Message on Criminal Justice. During his speech, Governor Snyder highlighted the changes to HYTA among several ways to transform the state’s criminal justice system. The expansion of HYTA gives a second chance to lead a productive life, without the barriers often associated with having a criminal record to those making youthful mistakes.
Young-Adult Criminal Offender Law to Add-20 Somethings – Macomb Daily
States Rethink the Collateral Consequences of Criminal Conviction – Vera Institute of Justice
Gov. Rick Snyder Signs Bills Expanding Use of Alternative Sentencing Program for Youthful Offenders – State of Michigan