Categories: Albert News,News 28Nov Rep. Albert votes to approve landmark ‘Raise the Age’ legislation Plan will treat 17-year-olds as minors for most criminal offenses A bipartisan move to change the age at which individuals are considered adults for the purposes of prosecuting and adjudicating criminal offenses was supported today by state Rep. Thomas Albert in a vote by the House Law and Justice Committee.Michigan is one of just five states in the country that automatically consider a 17-year-old to be an adult in criminal offenses. Societal, behavioral and psychological analysis has showed this practice creates a dangerous situation for young people who are in an older prison population and housed with adult inmates.“The bills advanced today will improve Michigan laws related to young offenders,” said Albert, of Lowell. “While protecting young offenders from problems associated with living in an adult prison population, the plan seeks to gradually reduce recidivism and the amount of state taxpayer dollars spent on Michigan’s prison system.”Other states have pursued legislation changing age thresholds for juveniles over the last several years. Connecticut passed similar proposals in 2007 and saw a 21-percent decrease in juvenile court referrals over a seven-year period. The rearrests rates dropped by 7 percent and the costs associated with the change ended up being less than what was originally budgeted.“This is an issue that has a lot of support from the communities I represent in the Michigan House. These bills will go a long way in protecting the young people that we are trying to rehabilitate through the criminal justice process,” Albert said. “I am proud to support ways we can positively reform our criminal justice system – so we can see fewer repeat offenders, more individuals making a positive impact on society upon release and a safer, more prosperous state.”The Michigan House plan, which will still allow for 17-year-olds to be treated as adults in violent criminal offenses, advances to the House floor for further consideration.