Connecticut will treat 17-year-olds who have committed non-felony crimes as juveniles under its judicial code starting Monday.
The move completes the incremental implementation of the state’s 2007 “Raise the Age” legislation, under which 16-year olds began being treated as juveniles at the start of 2010. While several legislators threatened to delay the bill’s implementation, Gov. Dannel Malloy budgeted $9.4 million to implement the legislation.
“The fact of the matter is, by providing mental health and other community based interventions we’re giving these teens some of the help they need, reducing the likelihood of recidivism and offering a second chance at being a productive member of society,” said State Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney, a New Haven Democrat, in a Monday press release. “This is smart policy that treats children like children.”
Under the judicial code, teenagers charged with felonies such as aggravated assault, homicide, murder, rape and robbery will continue to be treated as adults in the state’s courts
Connecticut joins 38 other states in prosecuting 17-year-olds convicted of non-felony crimes as juveniles.