LANSING — State Representative Robert Kosowski (D-Westland) has sponsored legislation as part of a 20-bill package to improve the way Michigan treats youth offenders. Kosowski is one of 13 sponsors from both parties that want to help rehabilitate juveniles that commit a crime, rather than simply locking them away.
“Many young people have made mistakes, got a second chance and went on to become productive, law-abiding members of society. Others never got that chance,” Kosowski said. “We can reduce prison costs and give young people the help they need at the same time. These bills are a win-win scenario.”
Kosowski’s bill would require the State Court Administrative Office to report the number of youth offenders charged as adults, along with their demographic information, offense committed, sentence received and recidivism rate. Using this information, lawmakers and criminal justice stakeholders can make informed decisions and better target resources toward prevention.
“We suspect that with the proper rehabilitation, juvenile offenders can get back on the right track. In too many cases, however, we put them in prison with hardened adult criminals,” Kosowski said. “My bill will allow us to look at the effects of putting youth into adult prisons so we can give them the right help before it’s too late.”