Second Chance Bill Passes Senate Committee

MacIver News Service | January 15, 2014

[Madison, Wisc…] The Senate Committee on Transportation, Public Safety, and Veterans and Military Affairs passed Senate Bill 308 on Wednesday, which returns 17 year-old non-violent offenders to the juvenile justice system.

The bill, authored by Sen. Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon), aims to give non-violent offenders under 18 years old a second chance by keeping them out of the adult court system.

A report published by the MacIver Institute found that non-violent, underage offenders are less likely to commit crimes in the future if they are treated as juveniles instead of adults.

“Young people with adult criminal records are less likely to graduate from high school; they have difficulty finding future employment, and face barriers to higher education and military service,” Petrowski said in a statement. “They shouldn’t be sitting in our jails and missing school. They deserve a second chance to become responsible adults.”

The Assembly version of the bill passed unanimously in the Assembly Committee on Corrections in November.