Public Act to Raise Illinois Juvenile Justice Age to 18
As of January 1, 2014, Illinois youth charged with misdemeanors and felonies will be part of the juvenile justice system rather than the criminal justice realm. On July 8, 2013, Governor Pat Quinn signed into law Public Act 098-0061 which will lower the age of majority for prosecution. This legislation does not change the ability to prosecute youth in criminal court for crimes that continue to automatically transfer them to the adult system, such as first degree murder, etc.
This legislation is significant because it will allow young persons to profit by the benefits of the juvenile justice system rather than to potentially receive adult criminal records and convictions.
As a member of the Illinois State Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section Council, I urged that the bar association support such a measure. This will allow young persons who make mistakes to receive resources and, hopefully, be diverted from the criminal justice system.
In response to a comment, here is the link to Public Act 098-0061. https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/98/098-0061.htm
Lori G. Levin
Attorney at Law
180 N. LaSalle, Suite 3700
Chicago, IL 60601