LANSING — A package of bills passed the Michigan House today which would raise the age for automatic prosecution as an adult from seventeen to eighteen. Currently, Michigan is one of only four states that automatically consider seventeen-year-olds to be adults for criminal offenses, including Georgia, Texas and Wisconsin. In response, state Rep. Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing) issued the following statement:


“We have a responsibility to ensure victims of crimes are made whole, but we also have a duty to provide support for offenders and set them up for a better future. Unfortunately, our current system is failing seventeen-year-old Michiganders who are automatically charged as adults. Raising the age of automatic prosecution to eighteen is a common sense measure that nearly every state in the nation follows, and it is time for Michigan to follow suit. Research shows that young offenders suffer a higher risk of physical, mental, and sexual abuse by serving time in adult prisons. Offering age-appropriate treatment allows young offenders to continue to pursue an education and encourages them to remain motivated to better their future and communities. I am proud to say I led the charge on this issue as an Ingham County Commissioner and to have had the opportunity to continue my support for the bills on the House Floor. I will continue to advocate for the Raise the Age package as it moves through the legislative process.”