State justice system needs to be place where every child thrives

State justice system needs to be place where every child thrives

There is some understandable confusion about whether a 17-year-old is a child or not, but there is considerably less confusion about the appropriateness of putting 17-year-olds in adult prisons.

Since 1995, 17-year-olds are considered adults in Wisconsin’s criminal justice system, one of just 9 states to do so.

The result too often is destroyed lives and an increased rate of reoffending even for 17-year-olds punished for non-violent offences. It’s inhuman, it’s ineffective and it’s unnecessary.

The Wisconsin Council on Children and Families has long advocated returning 17-year-olds to the juvenile system, and they are asking supporters to weigh in during the Joint Finance Committee’s budget hearings.

We urge you to let lawmakers know, at hearings or in written comments, that we need fairness in our justice system to have a state where every child thrives.

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