Return Jurisdiction Over Non-Violent 17-year-olds to Juvenile Court: Improve Community Safety and Change Lives

January 18, 2011

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A decade of research clarifies that trying youth in adult court has a detrimental impact on community safety as well as on many 17-year-olds. Current state law excludes all 17-year-olds from the juvenile court and the services available through that venue. Even if prosecutors and judges wanted to include a 17-year-old in an appropriate juvenile service or program, they would be unable to do so. Therefore, one way to improve community safety and better serve youth in Wisconsin is to return 17-year-olds to the juvenile system, where they would receive more appropriate and effective services than they do in the adult criminal justice system. Read full publication.