Report denounces 'outdated' juvenile justice laws

Jun 11, 2014

'Youth Behind Bars' co-author by Michelle Weemhoff thinks current juvenile justice laws do more harm than good.

“Michigan’s outdated approach to youth justice does little to rehabilitate children, protect public safety or wisely invest taxpayer dollars.” This quote is among the provocative conclusions of a new report, co-authored by Michelle Weemhoff and her organization the Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency.

The Lansing-based organization has looked at a decade’s worth of juvenile justice data. It found that more than 20,000 Michigan young people were placed on adult probation, detained in jail or imprisoned for an offense committed when they were younger than 18 years old.

According to the study, a majority of those charges involved nonviolent offenses that did not include a weapon. It recommends reversing Michigan’s “adult time for adult crime” laws passed in the 90’s. Current State speaks with Michelle Weemhoff to learn more about the report and what it means for Michigan’s youth.