The second phase of the “Raise the Age” law is in effect removing 17-year-olds who have committed criminal acts from automatically proceeding as adults in the criminal justice system.

Youth will now be treated in age- and developmentally appropriate ways and will receive needed services and treatment to avoid re-offending. The first phase of Raise the Age, implemented one year ago, similarly removed 16-year-olds from the adult criminal justice system.

Raise the Age provides opportunities for diversion and community-based services for 16- and 17-year-old youth who can safely remain in their communities. When the court orders pre-trial or pre-sentencing detention, youth are now housed in one of seven secure or six specialized secure detention facilities statewide instead of in adult jails. Youth sentenced to less than one year may also be placed in specialized secure detention.

Since the provision took effect in October 2017, 1,013 individuals have successfully petitioned the courts to have their cases sealed, thus removing barriers to employment, housing and other opportunities.