The Age of Majority Differs from State to State

Posted by Mihran Naltchayan.

Watching the news earlier, I heard a report that the juvenile ages among the states in the United States are all different. I always thought that any person eighteen or younger is considered a juvenile. That is a false assumption on my part.

In New York, Connecticut, and North Carolina, a juvenile is considered sixteen years or younger. I found this awkward because I don’t find people mature at age 16; I think after 18 years old juveniles should know between right and wrong and learn from it. In Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin, a juvenile is age 17 or less. Wyoming is the only state that has established the age of juveniles to be 19 or younger. (Juvenile Justice 1). Everyone matures at different rates, but the average age people start maturing, I believe, is 18 years old.

“Relying on age as a sole determinant for adulthood has been criticized by many criminologists and policy makers since individuals develop at different rates.” (Juvenile Justice 2). I guess these states come up with these juvenile ages because of the environment/life they live in, but I disagree. It should be after high school, which is usually over 18, that states should be consider a person to be an adult.

Mihran is a marketing major at Montclair State University, Class of 2016.