In an editorial headlined "Raise the Age," the Detroit News supported legislative efforts aimed at treating juvenile offenders differently than adults and giving them the best chance to become productive, law-abiding adults.
"The mission in dealing with juveniles should be to rehabilitate, not simply to punish. But teens who are tried and sentenced as adults rarely leave prison as rehabilitated, productive citizens. Too often, the system turns out more hardened criminals," the News said.
The legislative package raises the age of automatic adult court jurisdiction from 17 to 18, which would put Michigan in line with most other states. The state would increase its share of the state Child Care Fund that pays for local juvenile justice programs from 50% to 75% to help pay for the costs of additional youth who previously would have been in the adult system.
"If properly written, the package could fit well into an overall plan to restructure sentencing in Michigan to make it work better for public safety, and for defendants. There is also an important cost savings component. If juveniles can be rehabilitated, it would save the state in terms of future crime and imprisonment," the News said.
You can read the editorial here.