From 2003 to 2013, Michigan prosecuted over 20,000 juvenile offenders as adults. Advocates for juvenile justice reform say youth housed in adult prisons are at a much greater risk for sexual abuse and suicide than the adult prison population. And while there is now a sight and sound barrier between juvenile offenders and the adult prison population, that wasn’t always the case. The state is now facing allegations from seven former juvenile offenders that they were sexually abused by both other prisoners and prison staff while housed in those facilities.
The state has denied those claims, but if the allegations are true, the state could be facing a big payout to the former juvenile offenders.
Current State speaks with Ted Roloefs, who has been reporting on the lawsuit for Bridge Magazine.