The Illinois Senate voted on May 14, 2013 to raise the age of juvenile court jurisdiction to 18, which means that 17-year-olds charged with misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies will be tried and sentenced in juvenile court rather than adult court.

The bill, which was approved by the House in April, heads next to Gov. Pat Quinn. Thirty-eight other states have already set 18 as the age for prosecution in adult court.

House Bill 2404 was approved by a vote of 40-10.

This bill will ensure that 17-year-olds receive the benefits of juvenile court jurisdiction, including mental health services, drug treatment, and community based services. Eighteen (18) is the age of majority in most laws in Illinois. Currently in Illinois, a young person under 18 years of age does not have the right to vote; cannot obtain a full driver’s license; cannot serve in the military; must abide by statewide curfew; cannot legally purchase tobacco, lottery tickets, or pornography; are identified as child victims in child abuse cases and cannot apply for entitlements or benefits.

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