The Craig Fahle Show

Juvenile Incarceration: Michigan Is One Of 10 States that Considers 17-Year-Olds Adults

Tuesday June 10, 2014

The Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency releases its new report on the social impact of youth behind bars. Kristen Staley, Senior Policy Associate at the Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency and Deborah LaBelle, Attorney at Law , Founding Member of National Organization of the Campaign for Fair Sentencing of Youth talk to Craig about the realities of incarcerating youth.

Youth are more likely to be physically attacked, sexually assaulted and attempt suicide than youth in the juvenile justice system.

Youth incarceration actually increases violent crime. National research found that youth exiting the adult system are 34 percent more likely to reoffend, reoffend sooner, and escalate to more violent offenses than their counterparts in the juvenile justice system.

Incarcerating youth is expensive. The average cost of housing a prisoner in Michigan is about $34,000 a year, with an average sentence served of 4.3 years. A young person convicted in the adult system can expect to earn 40% less over their lifetime, which translates to a loss of state tax revenue.

An adult conviction has lifelong consequences, including significant barriers to housing, employment, and education.

Full report here.