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Raise the Age

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In Category : Youth Justice, Community Reinvestment

Over the past ten years, half of the states that had previously excluded all 16- and/or 17-year-olds from juvenile court based solely on their age have changed their laws so that most youth under age 18 who touch the justice system will fall under the jurisdiction of the juvenile justice system. These policy changes are part of a shift to “raise the age”–reforms focused on moving out of the adult criminal justice system the tens of thousands of youth under 18 who are automatically treated as adults because of age of jurisdiction laws. States have raised the age for many reasons, one of which is research showing that justice-involved teenagers are more likely to move past delinquency and successfully transition to adulthood if they are served by a juvenile justice system, not an adult criminal justice system.

Read JPI’s newest report on the growing national trend to Raise the Age, and how the youth justice systems are shifting towards more effective practices to manage the change without costs rising significantly, and achieving better public safety and youth development outcomes



Help spread the word about our new report and convince our policymakers to enact #RaiseTheAge policies! Join the conversation by using the report hashtag, and sending your own posts from our general social media toolkit and state-based social media toolkit.


Learn more about how states can raise without overwhelming their youth justice systems, and achieve better public safety and youth development outcomes.

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