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Change proposed in when teens go to adult courtSubmitted: 09/06/2013
Story By Associated Press

MADISON - Right now, 17 year olds charged with a crime go straight to adult court in Wisconsin.

A bi-partisan bill in the legislature would make some changes.

Under the proposal, non-violent 17-year-old offenders in Wisconsin would no longer be treated as adults.

The bill presented Thursday would reverse a 1996 law that required all 17-year-olds, no matter their offense, to be treated as adults.

Wisconsin is now one of only 11 states where children under the age of 18 are automatically treated as adults.

Backers of changing the law say 17-year-olds have a better chance of success if they are handled in juvenile court.

Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen doesn't support the change.

He says judges already have discretion in how they handle young offenders.

(Copyright 2013 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)


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