Georgia has a track record for reform.
WHY RAISE THE AGE?
Georgia’s track record over the past decade to move to more effective juvenile justice practices means, the system is ready to include 17-year-olds as part of the juvenile justice system by enacting raise the age legislation.
Georgia is one of just three states that automatically treat 17-year olds as if they were adults in the justice system. Eleven states have "raised the age" in the past decade, with incredible results."
In the past five years, legislatures in Louisiana, South Carolina, North Carolina, New York, and Missouri passed raise the age laws with broad bipartisan support. That support is due in large part to research, data, and system stakeholders recognizing that raising the age will increase public safety, reduce costs, and lead to better outcomes for youth and communities.
“Raise the Age” has proven to be good fiscal and public safety policy. Concerns about large numbers of older juveniles and their associated costs straining juvenile justice systems have not come to pass, and juvenile crime has continued to decline.
Youth adjudicated in the adult system are more likely to commit future offenses and are more likely to be traumatized by the harsh realities of the adult system.
“Research consistently shows lower recidivism rates in the juvenile justice system than in the criminal justice system.” Youth adjudicated in the adult system have higher recidivism rates and are more likely to commit future crimes, that are more serious in nature, when compared with peers adjudicated in the juvenile system for equivalent offenses.
Children in the adult criminal justice system are more likely to experience physical and sexual abuse, more likely to commit suicide than their peers held in juvenile facilities, and are more likely to be exposed to prolonged periods of solitary confinement, an experience the United Nations has found is akin to torture.