Currently, if you're 17 and charged with a felony, you go to court like anyone else. But, critics argue 17-year olds aren't adults, and want them to stay in the juvenile justice system. The state's already been experimenting with the age cutoff for lesser offenses. It's something the panel says has been very successful.
It says putting those under 18 through the adult system is counterproductive. Members say offenders can get more counseling in a youth program and get back on the right track faster. Plus, it would help with prison overcrowding which is currently a big issue in the state.
Some offenders under 18 could still end up in adult court, though. It would depend on the severity of the crime.
The board wants lawmakers to act fast on this to keep criminal systems as efficient as possible. There's already a law on the table at the capitol.