March 2009

Implement the Expansion of Juvenile Court Jurisdiction to Sixteen- and Seventeen-Year-Olds

Taby Ali and Alexandra Dufresne, J.D.

Connecticut continues to be one of just three states in which sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds are considered adults for the purposes of criminal law. In 2007, the Connecticut General Assembly passed a landmark law to "raise the age" of juvenile court jurisdiction to include this age group. In its totality, this law ensures that these older youth face the consequences of their actions in a more developmentally-appropriate manner and environment.

Bringing youth under eighteen into the juvenile system is a much smarter way to spend Connecticut's money right now, as it will save the state money in the long term. Connecticut should not delay expansion of juvenile jurisdiction any longer.

Issue Area:
Juvenile Justice