SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Food for thought

Tuesday, Feb 26, 2013

* With all the goofy bills being proposed these days, here’s some real food for thought

Illinois should stop automatically treating 17-year-olds charged with felonies as adults, a state juvenile justice advisory group recommended Tuesday.

The Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission, a 24-member advisory group chaired by retired chief judge George Timberlake of Mount Vernon, issued its report after examining the impact of a 2010 change in state law.

Before 2010, anyone older than 16 charged with any type of crime was treated as an adult and went through the adult court system.

In 2010, the General Assembly reached a compromise — 17-year-olds charged with misdemeanors would be handled in the juvenile justice courts, and 17-year-olds charged with felonies would be prosecuted as adults.

Most states set 18 as the default age when criminal defendants will be treated as an adult. Illinois is one of 12 states with a lower age, the commission reported.

The report is here. Go take a look at it and tell us what you think.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


21 Comments
  1. - Just Observing - Tuesday, Feb 26, 13 @ 1:33 pm:

    I tend to agree that 18 should be the default age. How do we say 17 year olds are not mature enough to buy cigarettes, sign contracts, play the lotto, etc. but for crimes they should be treated as adults? They can’t even leave school for a doctor appointment unless Mom or Dad call the school.


  2. - Commonsense in Illinois - Tuesday, Feb 26, 13 @ 1:40 pm:

    When I was with the Department of Corrections in the 1980s, 17 was the age for transfer to “adult” court. In large measure this was the result of gangs recruiting younger kids and then getting them to do their dirty work because they would end up doing hard time. Once 17 year olds started being transferred to “adult” the gangs then recruited younger and younger kids - especially 12 year olds because under state law nobody under 13 years of age can be charged with a crime. So, elementary school kids are holding drugs and weapons for older gang members. While I don’t think changing the age to 18 will put a dent into any incarceration rates, I also believe giving a 17-year old a “pass” at hard time isn’t going to achieve the desired result either.


  3. - A new perspective - Tuesday, Feb 26, 13 @ 1:45 pm:

    Considering most people in college and under 30, we probably shouldn’t treat anyone under 30 as an adult.


  4. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 26, 13 @ 2:13 pm:

    Some real good work here. The key word is “automatic.”

    Judges and prosecutors should have more discretion.

    Throwing some 17-year-old burglar into Pontiac is, in my opinion, cruel and unusual punishment.

    Years ago, a 17-year-old broke into my garage. My neighbor across the alley spotted him and called the cops.

    The kid dallied too long (no doubt trying to find something worth stealing amongst all the junk) and was caught.

    He showed up at his first court appearance with a Navy recruiter. I got a call from the State’s Attorney office, who said if I didn’t have a beef, they would drop the charges and he would join the Navy.

    I was very happy to say yes. I hope that still goes on. Except in the most extreme cases, a 17-year-old screwup deserves another chance.


  5. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Feb 26, 13 @ 2:30 pm:

    “Automatic” is the key word, Word. Well said.

    On the other hand, a 16-year-old ward of the state is charged with raping and kidnapping a 43-year-old Bucktown woman in her home in the middle of the day, a Sunday no less. Should he be set free when he turns 21 (assuming just for the moment that he is found guilty)?

    Discretion is the best part of the American legal tradition. Too many legislators have taken that away from judges and prosecutors. That leads to real injustice.


  6. - MrJM - Tuesday, Feb 26, 13 @ 2:34 pm:

    Words’ comment crystallizes the merit of this change: the vast majority of 17 year-old screw-ups can still change for the better. But if they are jammed into the adult system, they won’t get the opportunity or interventions necessary to make such a change. And we all pay for that for the rest of that kid’s life.

    From a purely selfish point of view, this line from the report is worth noting: “Studies of youth transferred to adult courts indicate higher recidivism rates than similar youth handled by juvenile courts.”

    Juvenile courts can stop criminal careers before they start. You don’t have to care about anyone but yourself, your family or your tax bill to support raising the age.

    – MrJM


  7. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 26, 13 @ 2:40 pm:

    47, agreed.


  8. - mythoughtis - Tuesday, Feb 26, 13 @ 2:46 pm:

    So, if they just mess up a little bit(misdeameanor), then they are not mature enough to be treated as an adult… but if they mess up big time (felony), then they are considered mature enough to be tried as an adult? Seems to me we have that backwards. I think 17 year oldss are mature enough for the small decisions, but not to the beig ones. Isn’t that pretty much how we treat them -see earlier comments about decisions we allow them to make.

    I think since we don’t let 17 year olds be real adults, then we can’t decide to treat them as real adults in the criminal courts. Heck, we don’t even treat 18, 19, 20 year olds as real adults (graduated drivers license, no alcohol, claimed as dependent on parents tax return, parents income counts against financing for college aid, etc.)


  9. - Just The Way It Is One - Tuesday, Feb 26, 13 @ 2:47 pm:

    Good point by Wordslinger. States’ Attorneys should be given more discretion about 17 year olds and handle each individual on a case-by-case basis. This blanket approach to alleged justice really is sometimes trying to fit a square peg into a round hole–One Size just doesn’t always fit all!!!


  10. - mythoughtis - Tuesday, Feb 26, 13 @ 2:47 pm:

    sorry, that was supposed to be ‘not for the big ones (decisions)’.


  11. - Just The Way It Is One - Tuesday, Feb 26, 13 @ 2:48 pm:

    And Judges given the discretion as well, as previously suggested @2:13 pm.


  12. - South - Tuesday, Feb 26, 13 @ 2:54 pm:

    I disagree if a 17 year old committs a felony then he or she should be held accountable and charged as a adult. I think most victims would agree.


  13. - Anon - Tuesday, Feb 26, 13 @ 3:18 pm:

    I think some people are missing a key point here. The State’s Attorney can seek transfer to adult court on almost any case. it is then up to the judges discretion whether to do so based on arguments from both sides. Second, the 16 year old accused of sexual assault can also be transferred to adult court and in fact it might even be mandatory. We have very strict mandatory transfer laws in Illinois. All this report recommends is we treat all 17 year olds the same as a baseline, but every other law that sends a juvenile to adult court still applies. The real question is if your 17 year old child committed retail theft in excess of $300 (a Class 3 felony)do you want them going to adult jail, getting an adult sentence, and having an adult record that keeps them from getting a job in the future or do you want them to be given the protection of confidentiality that juvenile court provides and recieve services so they can learn from their mistake and move on with their life?


  14. - walk in my shoes - Tuesday, Feb 26, 13 @ 3:27 pm:

    Perhaps IDJJ and this commission have lost sight of what this change would mean. It would mean these “juveniles” would then need to be housed in a juvenile facility. They just shut down two juvenile facilities siting amongst other things that juvenile crime is down. It’s a matter of watching the news, reading the paper to understand it is not down and in most cases is being hidden with ReDeploy Illinios (which I believe is a good program; however it should not come with what appears to be multiple trips before the judge because the “juvenile” cannot stop committing crimes). Those that lead IDJJ should step down for destroying its own mission statement. Youth are now being housed 3 to 8 hours away from their families and yet IDJJ states family reunification and keeping youth closer to their communities is a key component in reducing recidivism. As with IDOC, the moves made by IDJJ, have resulted in staff assaults and an increase in the use of pepper spray. Another commission and another department making a continued laughing stock out of Illinoios.


  15. - MrJM - Tuesday, Feb 26, 13 @ 3:51 pm:

    @Walk,

    Contrary to what you may believe, your “watching the news” methodology doesn’t compare very well against the commission’s citation-laden report.

    However, buttressing your empty assertion with a conspiracy theory was a pretty bold move. For that, I tip my tin-foil hat to you.

    – MrJM


  16. - Pension is a promise - Tuesday, Feb 26, 13 @ 4:19 pm:

    I agree the IDJJ officials should step down. How can you think it’s a good idea to place a kid 6 hours from his family? But read the OIG report on IDJJ Deputy Director Ron Smith..this finding is exactly the problem with the administration running IDJJ. Poor judgement and clueless


  17. - Anon99 - Tuesday, Feb 26, 13 @ 4:31 pm:

    It seems that a 17 year old who engages in misdemeanor mischief or theft has done something immature and irresponsible, and can still be turned around and should not automatically be considered a danger to others… their property and money perhaps, but not their safety. This person should not necessarily be paying for this the rest of their lives.

    Someone who enages in murder, rape, brutal assault, at 17 is someone who is way beyond petty immaturity or even serious delinquincy. They will likely be a serious threat to others well past 18.

    Cannot even compare murder to stealing a PS3.


  18. - Quiet Sage - Tuesday, Feb 26, 13 @ 5:05 pm:

    To Annon99: The problem is that, with year after year of legislators “getting tough” on crime, many crimes that should be misdemeanors are now felonies.


  19. - What is to be done? - Tuesday, Feb 26, 13 @ 6:22 pm:

    17 for a felony, 18 for misdemeanors. Problem solved.


  20. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Feb 26, 13 @ 6:26 pm:

    All other things being equal, discretion in the justice system is a good thing. Look at Cool Hand Luke.

    By the same token, discretion can lead to inequalities inthe delivery of justice, and malfeasance, as history has shown, so youve got to balance the discretion with watchdogs, advocates and public accountability.


  21. - Richard Afflis - Tuesday, Feb 26, 13 @ 8:24 pm:

    Some crimes- like the violent ones should bring you into the adult regardless of age. For the less violent ones like theft, the current system is probably better.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* We interrupt this break for a special announcement...
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Afternoon updates
* Stop the satellite TV tax!
* *** UPDATED 1x *** Twitter suspends parody account @peoriamayor
* Lesson learned: Don't 'Leave'
* Fitch affirms Illinois GO Bond rating
* BGA: Rauner firm holds state contracts; political round-up
* Question of the Day
* CAPTION CONTEST!
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * OnePlus One CyanogenMod 11S and press photos show up ahead of launch
        * Android 4.4.3 imminent release hinted by Google Edu Device Setup app
        * Samsung Galaxy S5 features make it accessible for everyone
        * The Android Community Team: a bit of offline time
        * #Love: I’m Single, Therefore I Tinder
        * Hands On With Facebook Nearby Friends [Video]: No More Checkins
        * In Digital Health, Does Nike Have A Path To Victory After Fuelband?

        * Final Fantasy III Headed For PC (Rumor)
        * Bentley Hybrid Car Set To Wow
        * Samsung’s Milk Music has been downloaded 380,000 times
        * Game Of Thrones Hand Of The King USB Stick
        * Your Everyday Shed The Tetra Shed Is Not
        * These Glasses Have Eyes On Them So You Don’t Have To Feel Awkward, You Know, Looking At People
        * Grush is a Gaming Toothbrush That Turns Brushing Into a Game

        * Podcast: Jonah Keri Talks White Sox (and Expos)
        * White Sox Minor League Update: April 20-26
        * Danks heads to mound in series opener against host Tigers
        * White Sox 16, Rangers 2: No sweep, no normalcy
        * Strikeout stands after White Sox challenge
        * Dunn unimpressed with .304 batting average
        * Beckham close, but not back


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * US Sen. Durbin says he's taking Oberweis seriously..
        * Governor Announces Investments in Lake Michigan.....
        * ‘Quinnocchio’ character latest example of troll.....
        * 'Quinnocchio' character latest example of troll.....
        * District 300 set to pilot new teacher evaluations..
        * U.S. Sen. Durbin says he's taking Oberweis seri.....
        * Southeast Chicago residents take petcoke fight .....


        * Kids get codeine in ER despite risks, guidelines
        * Official: 5 children wounded in Chicago drive-by
        * Arrest made in death of Chicago man in Utah
        * Former death row inmate details difficulties
        * Cardinal: Could be last Easter as archbishop
        * Police: 6 people injured in Easter party shooting
        * Video gambling exclusion list prompts questions
        * Chicagoan to run 35th straight Boston Marathon
        * Authorities: Newborn baby found in plastic bag
        * Lawyer: No more appeals for Crundwell

        * Addiction experts: Illinois budget cuts could hurt drug treatment
        * Comptroller Topinka reports $125K in income
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Durbin, Oberweis spar over earmarks, minimum wage
        * Statehouse Insider: It doesn’t always add up in the General Assembly
        * Chicago casino plan draws more support at legislative hearing
        * Video gaming may get its own exclusion list
        * U of I officials seeking to prevent retirement rush
        * U of I asks state legislators to prevent retirement rush; could affect 200 at UIS
        * 2015 tax rates still far from settled
        * Strip club tax brings in much less than expected

        * Census: People are leaving all six Chicago-area counties
        * Trixie and Chad have kids!
        * Quinn administration funds Diana Rauner's nonprofit
        * Why Lenovo's Moto bid is looking smarter
        * Ignoring Shakespeare's butcher, law firm advises how to cut legal bills


        * $14 mil awarded to woman who suffered stroke after taking medication
        * 5 kids hurt in drive-by on South Side
        * In violent weekend, at least 7 dead, 35 wounded in shootings across Chicago
        * Police SUV flips in crash on S. Side
        * In violent weekend, at least 7 dead, 31 wounded in shootings across Chicago
        * Credit card fraud boss threatened rival would be ‘cut into pieces’: feds
        * Ex-death row inmate Anthony Porter angry, feels ‘cheated’ out of money
        * 4 kids hurt in drive-by on South Side
        * 7 dead, 22 wounded in shootings since Friday evening


        * 6 children shot Sunday night in violent Chicago weekend
        * No joke, Chicago is America's funniest city
        * Logan Square residents lament discovery of abandoned baby's body
        * Man in fatal DUI crash was nearly 3 times over the legal limit, prosecutors say
        * Police: Husband and wife -- both officers -- dead in apparent murder-suicide
        * 'Nothing is ever without hope,' ailing George tells Catholics on Easter
        * Man held on $1 million bail in Friday shooting
        * FBI looks for duo who robbed Austin neighborhood bank


        * Illinois Finally Gets 'No Child Left Behind' Waiver
        * U Of I: Illinois Pension Overhaul Had Costly Mistake
        * Fish fry dinners bring food, community to Catholics during Lent
        * Listen To State Week - April 18, 2014
        * Murray Center Advocates Win Appeals Decision
        * Employment Improves, But Illinois Still Lags U.S.
        * Nine Illinois lawmakers vote to fund Obama library - but only five members in attendance
        * WBEZ's Student Stories
        * Interview: John Tinker & The Landmark Case On Students' Right To Free Speech
        * State Legislation Hints At Marijuana Legalization


        * Our Opinion: Don’t drag feet on drone regulation
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Durbin, Oberweis spar over earmarks, minimum wage
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Durbin, Oberweis spar over earmarks, minimum wage
        * Statehouse Insider: It doesn’t always add up in the General Assembly
        * Statehouse Insider: It doesn’t always add up in the General Assembly
        * Armenta L. Johnson: Advocate for quality education to avoid segregation
        * Catherine Walters: Prairie Center Against Sexual Assault notes anniversary, awareness month
        * Video gaming may get its own exclusion list
        * U of I asks state legislators to prevent retirement rush; could affect 200 at UIS
        * Quinn grants 43 clemency requests


        * Fate smiles
        * Fern Anderson
        * George Loman
        * James Green
        * Phyllis McNary
        * Jack Snyder
        * John Adams Jr.
        * All together: Easter service at Bald Knob Cross unites people of many denominations
        * Local doctor battles childhood obesity
        * Scrutiny gaining momentum regarding e-cigarette sales and marketing


        * The 10th District money race
        * Aurora Democrat calls out IHSA
        * Lawyers: Ill. hazing law vague, unconstitutional
        * Ill. House OKs lower-cost hunting bill for seniors
        * Quinn’s running mate takes new consulting job

        * Jeff Vorva's Editor's Notebook: In this ca...
        * Rep. Lipinski Honors Vietnam Vets on House...
        * Southwest Airlines Adding 9 Non-Stop Daily...
        * Lipinski Announces Southwest will Start Fl...
        * Lipinski Thanks Voters for Support in Unco...
        * Lipinski announces 2014 Congressional Art ...
        * Lipinski seeks artistic submissions - The ...
        * Lemont VFW honors Vietnam veterans - Subur...
        * Lipinski Votes to Protect the Paychecks of...
        * Meet the 8 House Dems who don't co-sponsor...

        * Loading Koch Industries Website Too Many T......
        * Maryland and DC among worst for food aller......
        * Cleveland State University to reestablish ......
        * Convicted political boss Al Sanchez runnin......
        * Candidates make last filings for local, st......

        * Illinois Lt. Gov. Simon opposes pension le......
        * Dillard Odd Man Out on Pension Deal Reaction...
        * Sen. Mark Kirk sides with Rauner on pensio......
        * Governor's race infighting threatens pensi......
        * SCHOONERS - Home of Everyone's Favorite Be......

        * Video: How To Move A Bridge 1 MPH Hour At A Time
        * Does Oberweis really want Kirk support? Or to put senator in place?
        * Wired: Free iPhone 5s deal proves Apple isn't so special
        * Wishing Buehrle back on Sout’ Side
        * Chris Christie’s pension theft in New Jersey. Nation-wide pension theft needs a nation-wide response.
        * GTCR is Rauner’s Bain Capital. So Squeezy gives him a state contract. Shaking up Springfield?
        * Sunday book review section. This is Not a Test.
        * The Library of Congress Pkwy?
        * Sen. Mark Kirk pokes at Eric Holder: Did NSA spy on Congress?
        * Democratic National Committee Executive Committee meeting in Chicago June 8


        * Governor Quinn Announces Investments to Conserve Lake Michigan Shoreline - Visits Volunteer Beach Clean-up to Announce Investments That Will Support Environmental Education and Stewardship Projects
        * Governor Pat Quinn Takes Clemency Action
        * Proposed Rules for Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act Filed
        * Adopt-A-Highway Spring Cleanup Begins Today - Annual Event Honors Earth Day, Tackles Roadside Litter After Harsh Winter
        * Illinois Schools Win No Child Left Behind Waiver - Federal Government Approves Flexibility Needed for Successful Implementation of State Strategies to Improve Student Learning




            Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller