Texas lawmakers could raise the age of juvenile delinquents from 17 to 18. They spent hours discussing the proposal on Tuesday.
Texas is one of ten states in the country that treats youth under the age of 18 as adults, a law established back in 1918.
State representatives on the jurisprudence committee called in a district attorney, prosecutors, a sheriff, law professors and several other experts to discuss the pros and cons of raising the age.
The majority of experts agree that raising the age would be beneficial as long as juvenile justice centers receive the appropriate funds to accommodate the increase in youth they would see. Supporters said while the costs would increase at first, there would be long term cost savings.
The director of the Lubbock County Juvenile Justice Center says raising the age would require additional funding for probation services and possibly adding on to the facility. So, how much would all of this cost?
While the director did not have exact figures at this time, based on numbers from 2013, he projects that their caseload would increase by 26 percent, with their felony caseload increasing 34 percent.
No decisions were made on Tuesday.
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