FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Lansing, Mich.) — Michigan Catholic Conference is applauding legislators on both sides of the political aisle today as Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed into law a package of bills that reforms existing policy by which a juvenile is sentenced as an adult for certain crimes in the State of Michigan.
Currently, Michigan law requires all 17-year-olds to be charged automatically as an adult, regardless of the crime that has been committed. With the governor’s signature of the ‘Raise the Age’ bill package, Michigan joins 46 other states in the country that gives a judge the discretion to charge a 17-year-old as an adult based on the severity of the crime.
Michigan Catholic Conference has supported ‘Raise the Age’ legislation for the past three legislative sessions and is most pleased with the bipartisan cooperation that resulted in today’s bill signing.
The following comments may be attributed to Tom Hickson, Michigan Catholic Conference Vice President for Public Policy and Advocacy:
“Michigan has just enacted good policy that will allow youths who commit lesser crimes to receive necessary resources at the juvenile court level. Appropriate age-based sentencing will ideally result in a more effective means to reduce recidivism and provide youth with the opportunity to live a more productive and crime-free life. MCC has supported this legislation for three consecutive sessions and is especially pleased with the bipartisan manner and cooperation from varying organizations that lead to the enactment of this policy.
“We’re particularly grateful for the leadership of Senators Pete Lucido and Sylvia Santana and Representatives Graham Filler and David LaGrand for addressing stakeholder concerns in a way that is both smart on crime and protective of Michigan’s youth. We are grateful for the governor’s signature on these bills as Michigan has taken the right step to correct an otherwise antiquated policy.”
Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.
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