This week on the Barber Shop Show, our weekly radio on Vocalo 89.5 FM, we're talking about 17 year-olds in the criminal justice system. Currently, if a 17-year-old commits a felony in Illinois, they're automatically charged as adults. That means they spend time in adult jail, get adult sentences and sent to adult prison.
But this week, Members of Illinois’ Juvenile Justice Commission unanimously recommended bumping 17-year-olds down to the juvenile courts for a vast majority of their felony crime convictions. Illinois is one of only 10 states that automatically transfer 17-year-olds to the adult courts.
But we want to hear what you think. Are 17 year-olds old enough to be charged as adults? Or are they really still kids, despite being a year away from their 18th birthday? Take our poll.
Don't forget to tune in to the Barber Shop Show, Fridays at noon on Vocalo, 89.5 FM or Vocalo.org. If you miss the show, you can always catch a rebroadcast on Saturdays from noon to one p.m., or download our podcast, available the Tuesday after the show.
If you want to find out more about 17 year-olds in the juvenile justice system, make sure to read Angela Caputo's current investigation, Minor Misconduct.