HB 2404 Passes Both Houses, Expands Juvenile Court Jurisdiction to Offenders Between 17 and 18 at Time of Offense

HB 2404 passed both houses of the Illinois General Assembly and now awaits Gov. Quinn's signature.  

The synopsis from ilga.gov reads as follows: 

Amends the Juvenile Court Act of 1987. Changes the definition of delinquent minor to include a person who was under 18 (rather than 17) years of age when he or she committed an offense classified as a felony. Also changes the age concerning confidentiality of juvenile records. Provides that the restrictions apply to persons taken into custody before their 18th (rather than 17th) birthday. Makes corresponding change in the expungement provisions of the Act. Provides that the amendatory changes are prospective.

This law, if signed by Gov. Quinn, will have a more than insignificant impact on the courts and correctional institutions in Illinois.  This amendment will expand the jurisdiction of the juvenile courts to sweep in most felony offenders between the age of 17 and 18.  That's going to be a significant influx of teenage offenders into the juvenile justice system.  It's possible that this could strain the system and impede the primary goal of individual rehabilitation. 

This bill hasn't gotten a lot of attention, given the news coverage of pension reform and concealed carry, but it's noteworthy for those involved in criminal defense and juvenile justice.  

The amendments only apply prospectively.  That is to say, any offender who commits his or her offense prior to Quinn's signature (assuming it comes) will fall under the old provisions of the Act.