© 2024 Michigan State University Board of Trustees
Public Media from Michigan State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Reform Group Calls For End To ‘Adult-Time-For-Adult-Crime’

A new report by the Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency is calling for an end to the state’s policy of automatically charging 17-year-olds as adults, and sending them to prison – even for non-violent offenses.

We have more from The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Rick Pluta.

The Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency says teens sent to prison are more likely to re-offend after they’re released. The vast majority of teens sent to prison are 17 and the average stay is five years.

That means, they’re released in their mid-twenties without acquiring the life skills of most other people their age, says Kristen Staley, who helped compile the report.  She says sending teens to a youth facility makes more sense.

       “It’s smarter,” she says.  “It’s really no longer tough-on-crime, it’s smart on crime.”

The state Department of Corrections says teen-aged inmates – there are currently 77 serving time -- are already separated from the general population. Governor John Engler signed Michigan’s “adult-time-for-adult-crime” laws 18 years ago this month.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
Journalism at this station is made possible by donors who value local reporting. Donate today to keep stories like this one coming. It is thanks to your generosity that we can keep this content free and accessible for everyone. Thanks!