Emerging Adults-Raise the Age

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JJI supports raising the age of juvenile court to 21 to bring our court system in line with research that shows young adults (people ages 18-21) are more similar to juveniles than adults in terms of criminal offending.


Resources on IL Raise the Age:

  • Click here to read JJI’s fact sheet on HB 4581.
  • JJI President Elizabeth Clarke’s testimony to the Cook County Commission on Women’s Issues, October 2017
  • Read Temple University Criminal Justice Department’s Raise the Age in Illinois Issue Brief here.
  • Read Public News Media’s article on raising the age.
  • Read the Illinois Parent Teacher Association’s report on Raising The Age here.

For more information on young adults in conflict with the law, see below:

  • Read NYT editorial on San Francisco court calling on neuroscience to try a case involving a 19-year-old in young adult court.
  • Read JJI’s testimony on ending the practice of trying children in adult court filed November 20, 2015 before the Illinois Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform Commission.
  • Read JJI’s testimony on Young Adults, filed Oct. 30, 2015 before the Illinois Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform Commission.
  • JJI attended a summit hosted by U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Sept 8, 2015, where she noted: brain science also indicates that we may have a significant opportunity, even after the teenage years, to exert a positive influence and reduce future criminality through appropriate interventions.  
  • Read JJI’s research on Young Adults in Cook County Jail in 2013 – including the fact that 4,011 admissions of young adults to the jail were for misdemeanor offenses.
  • Read JJI’s testimony filed July 27, 2015 before the Illinois Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform Commission, urging the replication of juvenile diversion and sentencing options for Young Adults.
  • Read commentary in Chicago Tribune urging that the age of juvenile court be raised to 21.
  • Read new national report urging community based responses to justice involved young adults.