On May 10, 2018, Missouri lawmakers approved legislations allowing 17-year-old defendants to be tried as juveniles. “Pending a signature from Gov. Eric Greitens, a Republican, Missouri would join more than 40 other states that have raised to 18 the age for which defendants can be tired as adults.” In accordance with the legislation, lawmakers also approved increasing criminal penalties for those charged with prostitution of a minor, as well as allowing minors tried with prostitution the ability to use evidence of coercion.
Many believe juveniles entering the criminal justice system when tried as adults “are more likely to commit additional crimes.” Thus, the conclusion of these legislative reforms are to not only protect our streets but also to reduce juvenile imprisonment. “The juvenile justice changes are set to take effect in 2021 if the measure becomes law.”