Michigan Lawmakers Working to Reform Juvenile Justice System
Michigan lawmakers are working to pass legislation that would prevent youth offenders from being incarcerated alongside adult criminals.
On Tuesday, the House Criminal Justice Committee is scheduled to begin discussing a number of bills dealing with Michigan’s juvenile justice system, including a measure that would raise the bar for imposing adult sentences on minors.
Many supporters of this 20-bill package have argued that it is detrimental to society to treat juveniles the same as adult offenders for certain offenses. The Michigan Catholic Conference, which has been instrumental in advocating this level of reform, wants to see more youth offenders given the opportunity for rehabilitation before being locked away in prison.
It is too early to tell whether these bills, which have bipartisan support, will manage to gain enough momentum to prove successful. There are some concerns that with a busy legislative schedule, this issue could get swept under the rug until 2016.