IL Among States Reforming When Teens are Tried as Adults

Oct 22, 2013

Thirty-nine states have raised the minimum age in which teen offenders could be tried as adults.
Illinois joined that group this year by raising the minimum age to 17.

Credit MacArthur Foundation

A new report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation touches on the reasons kids end up in the criminal justice system in the first place, which often are connected to police presence in schools. The foundation's Carmen Daugherty helped write the report. She says 95-percent of youth in adult prisons nationwide are there for nonviolent crimes: "So, those one-off events like mouthing off at school, or stealing a bike or getting in a fight can turn into a life-long adult conviction for some of those kids."
 
Two states still automatically try teens as adults before age 18. Those states are New York and North Carolina.