Bills would treat 17-year-olds as kids

Oct 1, 2018

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A package of bills in the state House would classify 17-year-olds as juveniles, rather than automatically treating them as adults.

Representatives and advocacy groups testified in favor of the bills at a hearing last week.

Briana Moore testified during the hearing. Moore was convicted of misdemeanor assault and battery at age 17 for being involved in a fight. She says that record has followed her for the rest of her life.

“As I encounter obstacles the label ‘criminal’ is ever present, making me question if I am out of my league in trying to better my life.”

The bills would still allow juveniles to be charged as adults under a waiver if they are charged with committing a felony. But the bills would stop 17 year olds from automatically being charged as adults.

Some people raised concerns about whether the juvenile justice system had the funding to support 17 year olds.