County commissioners in Saginaw have accepted a $600,000 “Raise the age” grant.
Following legislation approved in late-2019, the money from the State will go towards the hiring of 4 youth care specialists, as well as housing and counselling for 17-year-olds that will be incorporated into the county juvenile justice system.
County commissioner Dennis Krafft says while local officials are unsure of whether the $600,000 will be enough, or even too much; the matter of keeping juveniles in an environment separate from adults is one mutually agreed upon.
According to current state law, a youth who passes their 17th birthday after the filing of a court petition will remain under juvenile court supervision.
In some cases, young people who enter the juvenile justice system before turning 17 can even remain under juvenile court jurisdiction until age 21.
National research has found that youth exiting the adult system are 34% more likely to re-offend, re-offend sooner, and escalate to more violent offenses than those leaving the juvenile justice system.