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Juvenile Crime Law: Give Our Kids a Chance in 2017

May 22nd, 2017 at 8:50 am

juvenile crime law, juvenile criminal offenses-Rolling Meadows Criminal Law AttorneyWith the signing of State Bill 2777, it is now prohibited for a juvenile to be committed to a juvenile detention center for a crime that is not a felony, and even for some nonviolent felonies. This change in the law comes as a sweeping initiative is taking hold in the Illinois legislature, moving away from the tough on crime policies that have caused an exploding prison population in Illinois.

“There has been a recognition that our system of justice needs to be more just and less retribution-focused,” said Rep. Ron Sandack, R-Downers Grove.” This is coming as bi-partisan efforts to keep our children out of the prison system have begun to take hold in our criminal justice system.

Which Juvenile Crimes Does This New Law Effect?

The new law effects juveniles who have been convicted of misdemeanor crimes. Misdemeanor crimes include misdemeanor theft, misdemeanor possession of marijuana, simple battery, and trespassing.   

Why Now?

Illinois lawmakers have been grappling with the rising population of juveniles who go from juvenile detention centers directly into adult detention centers. Juveniles who are sentenced for misdemeanor crimes, and find themselves becoming adult offenders without having a meaningful opportunity to rejoin society, have a high societal cost and an extremely heavy financial burden on the state of Illinois.

Lawmakers have anticipated that the new change in the law will save approximately $4.5 million dollars that the state of Illinois must pay to house the 110 kids that are admitted to juvenile detention centers, on average, every year.

Is That the Only Juvenile Criminal Law That Has Changed?

House Bill 6291 is another law that changed in 2017. This change in the law prohibits a juvenile from being committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice for certain controlled substance violations unless it is his or her third or subsequent judicial finding of a probation violation.

Another goal of this bill is to change the minimum probation period for youths who have been adjudicated delinquent. “We need to approach our criminal justice system with more compassion,” said Illinois Governor Rauner.” It is time the state starts treating our youth who struggle with addiction with various treatment programs instead of sending them to jail.

Do I Still Need a Lawyer?

Even with the changes in the law, it is still important to have dedicated and experienced legal counsel on your side when you have been arrested and charged with a crime. Contact your experienced Rolling Meadows criminal law attorney at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200.

Sources:

https://www.riverbender.com/articles/details/rauner-signs-bills-to-further-reforms-to-illinois-criminal-justice-system-14779.cfm#.WP_EqtLytqM

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-illinois-juvenile-justice-new-laws-met-20151230-story.html

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