Raising the age will improve public safety, save taxpayer dollars, treat families fairly, and get better outcomes for vulnerable young people.
Raising the age means including 17-year-olds in the juvenile justice system. Right now, Missouri automatically prosecutes all 17-year-olds as adults — even for the most minor offenses. That will change on January 1, 2021, when Missouri’s “Raise the Age” law, which passed last year, goes into effect.
How did it happen?
HB1255 and SB793 were filed for the 2018 legislative session. These bills supported bringing 17-year-olds into the juvenile justice system, holding kids accountable in juvenile court, while still allowing 17-year-olds accused of the most serious offenses to be prosecuted as adults. On June 1, 2018, SB793 was signed into law!
Passing “Raise the Age” legislation was just the beginning. Now the law must be implemented in a way that works for children, their families, and their communities.