Congratulations to Missouri on Raising the Age

New Legislation Will Improve Public Safety, Save Taxpayer Dollars, and Result in Better Outcomes for Vulnerable Young People

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - The Missouri General Assembly has voted to increase the age for automatically trying youth as adults from 17 to 18, and the legislation will now be headed to Governor Greitens for his signature, paving the way for criminal cases against youth who are under the age of 18 to begin in the juvenile court system.

The full press release is available here.

Statements from members of the Missouri Raise The Age Coalition are available here.

It’s time to ‘Raise the Age’ in Missouri. It’s a matter of dollars and sense

The Missouri General Assembly is currently contemplating a bill colloquially known as Raise the Age. This bill would mean that criminal cases against youth who are under the age of 18 would begin in the juvenile court system. 17-year-olds charged with serious crimes could still be certified as adults. Raising the age to 18 would bring Missouri into line with all but four other states.

The full article is available here.

Bill designed to reduce juvenile population in adult jails gets first-round approval from Mo. Senate

"The Missouri Senate has given initial approval to a bill that raises the age to be tried as an adult from 17 to 18.

An exception would be if the minor is certified as an adult for serious crimes. 

'The purpose of Senate Bill 793 is to reduce the number of youth in the adult system,' said its sponsor, Sen. Wayne Wallingford, a Republican who represents parts of southeast Missouri."

The full article is available here.

EDITORIAL: Missouri needs to raise age of adulthood for criminal convictions

"If you’re 17 in Missouri, you’re not considered an adult. You can’t vote, serve on a jury or buy cigarettes. However, if you’re charged with a crime, you’re automatically tried as an adult.

We believe that’s wrong. Missouri is one of several states that treat 17-year-olds as adults in the criminal justice system.

During the past decade, our legislature has considered, but failed to pass, legislation that would raise the age to 18."

The full article is available here

Bukowsky: Raise the Age!

"Currently, Missouri is one of only five states that sends all 17-year-olds accused of a crime to the adult criminal justice system.

When 17-year-olds are arrested in Missouri, they are treated as adults and no one is required to inform their parents of their arrest. While in their junior year of high school, these kids can (and do) go to court, plead guilty, and get an adult criminal record – all without telling their parents.

Missouri makes it harder for teens to grow into successful adults by automatically sending 17-year-olds into the adult criminal justice system. And Missouri teens – unlike their counterparts in surrounding states and throughout most of the country –  are given adult criminal records. This can handicap these kids for life – preventing them from joining the military, going to school, gaining employment, or obtaining an occupational license."

The full article is available here.

Study Details Benefits to Missouri of “Raise the Age”

"Over the past two years, four states have “Raised the Age” of criminal court jurisdiction to 18 – Louisiana and South Carolina in 2016, and New York and North Carolina earlier this year. While these recently passed laws have yet to go into effect, there are only five states that still charge all 17 year olds as adults no matter how minor the offense. Missouri, which has had a reputation for being a leader in juvenile justice because of its “Missouri model” of youth detention facilities, is one of those five states."

The full article is available here.

What is the potential economic impact of Raise the Age Legislation?

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"Dr. David Mitchell, professor of economics and director of the Bureau of Economic Research at Missouri State University, conducted a study to determine the economic costs and benefits of the proposed Raise the Age Legislation in Missouri.

The Show Me State is one of five states where 17-year-olds are automatically treated as adults in the criminal justice system, along with Georgia, Texas, Michigan and Wisconsin. However, a recently introduced legislation aims at raising the age to 18 in Missouri.

Dr. Mitchell’s study found that the state would benefit from significant savings. He concludes in the study that reduced recidivism and increased employment and wages for 17-year-olds who remain in the juvenile justice system, would result in long-term tax benefits that eclipse the initial costs of serving 17-year-olds in the juvenile justice system."

The full article is available here.

Study: Raise the Age, Lower the Cost of Juvenile Offenders

"Missouri is one of five states where 17-year-olds are automatically treated as adults in the criminal justice system, along with Georgia, Texas, Michigan and Wisconsin. 

However, a recently introduced legislation aims at raising the age to 18 in the Show Me State.

A panel was held at Missouri State University Tuesday afternoon where a legislator, experts, and a father spoke in favor of this change."

The full article is available here.