Rethinking Justice for Emerging Adults: Spotlight on the Great Lakes Region

Karen U. Lindell, Esq. and Katrina L. Goodjoint, Esq. ,
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New research shows that emerging adults—young people roughly ages 18 to 24—share many of the same characteristics as teens in the juvenile justice system, yet they are treated very differently. Emerging adults also represent a disproportionate share of the justice-involved population—accounting for a third of all criminal arrests nationwide—and they experience the worst racial disparities in incarceration and arrest rates of any age group. This report aims to lay the groundwork for more developmentally appropriate responses to emerging adults at risk of justice system involvement, with a particular focus on opportunities for reform in the Great Lakes region.