There's a big change coming this summer. Most 17-year-olds charged with crimes will go from being treated like adults to being treated in the juvenile justice system. It was called the "raise the age" effort, and the major effects were this: in 2010, 16-year-olds were taken out of the justice system designed for adults. As of this summer, the same thing will happen for 17-year-olds.
Abby Anderson is the executive director of the Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance. "Seventeen-year-olds will enter the juvenile justice system this summer. In preparation, we need more and a wider array of educational, job and career readiness and independent living skill programs that will ensure the success of these older youth." Anderson was speaking at a conference at the state capitol that featured federal officials from the Department of Justice. Melodee Hanes is the head of the department's division that focuses on juvenile justice. She praised the state and its "raise the age" effort. "Connecticut -- you get it. Your work and the efforts on raise the age campaign are to be applauded." The raise the age bill was passed in 2007.