Washtenaw County keeping 17-year-olds out of adult jail

ANN ARBOR (AP) - Older teens facing criminal charges in the Ann Arbor area will be moved out of a jail and away from adults.

Washtenaw County says 17-year-olds awaiting trial or a sentence for non-violent crimes will be housed in a juvenile detention facility, even if they're charged as adults in local courts.

Sheriff Jerry Clayton says placing teens with adults in jail "does not make our communities safer." He says a juvenile facility can better offer age-appropriate services.

There are efforts in the state Capitol to pass legislation that would classify 17-year-olds as minors, not adults, in Michigan's criminal justice system. Washtenaw County says it's taking "incremental steps" by treating older teens differently while in custody while lawmakers discuss broader possible changes.

Published: Wed, Mar 13, 2019