A Message from Eric Smith
The intent of the Michigan juvenile justice system remains the rehabilitation and discipline of juvenile offenders balanced against the safety needs of the community. Juvenile offenders present opportunities for change that most hardened adult offenders do not. Young people cannot be expected to have the same values and judgment as adults. This is especially true if they have been raised in an atmosphere of poverty, neglect, and abuse. Swift and effective intervention can often mean the difference between a law-abiding life and a career of crime. If we do not deal appropriately with them as juveniles, we will most certainly deal with them later as adults, and the costs will be much greater.
Mere treatment, counseling, and community service can never be the only solution to a violent crime. It matters little to a victim’s family that the person who murdered their loved one was 15 or 16 years old instead of 17. The Macomb County Prosecuting Attorney will not hesitate in using the adult criminal justice system, when allowable by law, to seek the strongest charges available in response to violent and repeat criminals. Our target in such circumstances is on the relatively few offenders who commit violent crimes. The victims of those crimes and our community deserve no less.
This office also has a firm commitment to the representation of the Department of Human Services regarding the protection of abused and neglected children. We in this office, as in the entire Macomb County community, place a high priority on the protection of its most vulnerable citizens. To that end we will provide the highest quality legal representation to ensure that it shouldn’t hurt to be a child.
Eric J. Smith
Macomb County Prosecuting Attorney