The Wisconsin Council on Children and Families (WCCF) works to to ensure that every child in Wisconsin grows up in a just and nurturing family and community. WCCF seeks to ensure that kids are treated through the juvenile court so their developmental needs can be better accounted for throughout the court and rehabilitative process. WCCF is leading a statewide campaign with the goal of returning 17 year olds to the juvenile justice system.
Primary Contact Name: Jim Moeser
Phone: (608) 284-0580, ext. 316
Bill number: AB 378 and SB280
Type of Reform
Returns first time, nonviolent 17 year old offenders to the juvenile justice system
Year: Introduced in 2015
17 Year-Olds in Adult Court: Is There a Better Alternative for Wisconsin’s Youth and Taxpayers?
This report (2016) aims to discuss the potential benefits of moving first-time nonviolent 17-year-olds back to the Wisconsin juvenile system, since Wisconsin is one of only 9 states that automatically try 17 year-old kids as adults. After analyzing recidivism rates and other evidence from Wisconsin and across the country, the report concludes that the juvenile justice system is incontestably more efficient, since it not only serves 17-year-olds better, but also provides a more cost-effective solution for taxpayers.
Continuing Trends in Juvenile Justice in Wisconsin
This report (2015) is an update of an earlier report and includes data up through 2014. It observes a growth in support for successful community-based programs and that juvenile arrests have continued to decline.
Summary of Research on Effectiveness Adult v. Court in Reducing Reoffending of Youthful Offenders
The report Summary of Research on Effectiveness Adult v. Court in Reducing Reoffending of Youthful Offenders (2014) by the Wisconsin Council on children & families is based on the current Wisconsin law excludes all 17-year-olds from the juvenile court and the services available through that venue. Even if prosecutors and judges wanted to include a 17-year-old in an appropriate juvenile service or program, they are unable to do so. Researchers have studied how best to promote public safety and meet the needs of 17-year-olds in several different ways.