"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.