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 remaining states that automatically considers seventeen-year-olds to be adults for criminal offenses, including Georgia, Texas and Wisconsin. House Bills 4133-4146 and 4443  are have been sent to the Senate for consideration. In response, state Rep. David LaGrand (D-Grand Rapids), who introduced  HB 4139, issued the following statement:    

“Our criminal justice system needs an overhaul if we are to achieve true justice. I’m glad today my colleagues in the House took the step to stop perpetuating the cycle of trauma young people face when they are automatically charged as adults. We shouldn’t expect a 17-year-old child who cannot legally enjoy the rights and privileges that come with adulthood to be effectively rehabilitated in an adult facility designed with programming for adult inmates. While this package doesn’t take away the discretion of the judge or prosecutor, it will mandate that we are imposing harsher protocols with good reason, not as a matter of course.”