Illinois 17-year-olds will be in juvenile court for most felonies, under a new law taking effect in the New Year. The idea is to keep high school kids out of adult prison.
“When kids are treated within the community, you're able to work with more than just that young person,” says Nora Collins-Mandeville, policy and government director of the Juvenile Justice Initiative. “You're able to work within the school setting … (or) whether there's something at home. Removing that child from that situation doesn't really fix very much for us.”
Collins-Mandeville cites studies which indicate a person's brain is still forming until they're in their twenties.