October 2016: Youth Justice Awareness Month
WHEREAS, the historical role of the juvenile justice system is to rehabilitate and treat youth while holding them accountable for their actions and also maintaining public safety. It is therefore acknowledged that, when possible, keeping youth within their families, homes, and community is a best practice; and,
WHEREAS, youth are developmentally different from adults and these differences are documented by research on the adolescent brain and acknowledged by many state and federal laws that treat youth disparately based upon their age and stage of development; and,
WHEREAS, youth who are placed under the commitment of the juvenile court system are able to access age appropriate services, education and remain closer to their families, all of which reduces the likelihood of future offending; and,
WHEREAS, youth with criminal records face hurdles with regard to education and employment; and,
WHEREAS, moving a youth from the adult criminal justice system into community-based services or to the juvenile justice system is more cost-effective in appropriate circumstances;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim October 2016 as Youth Justice Awareness Month in Michigan.