Why It’s Time to Raise the Juvenile Age
When children end up in the adult criminal justice system, no one wins. Research shows that prosecuting youth charged with low-level crimes in the adult criminal justice system wastes young lives, fosters crime, does not increase public safety, and costs society more in the long run.
Youth charged with low-level crimes should be handled in the juvenile justice system.
Evidence shows that the juvenile system – with programs tailored to how children think and learn – is more effective at rehabilitating youth. Fewer then go on to commit another crime, which means lower costs to society and more children growing up to become educated, employed citizens.
North Carolina remains one of only two states in the nation that still prosecute all 16- and 17-year-olds as adults, regardless of the severity of the crime. When youth end up in adult court, there is limited access to rehabilitative programming, mentoring, counseling, or even education.
Tell North Carolina’s leaders that it’s time to join the rest of the country. Tell them to throw out this nearly 100-year-old law and put 16- and 17-year-olds accused of low-level crimes in the juvenile justice system, where they can be treated, rehabilitated, educated, counseled, and prepared for a successful life.
Positive Steps Towards Decriminalizing School Misbehavior In Wake County
Teenagers between the ages of 16 and 18 may be able to avoid a permanent criminal record with a new program being rolled out in Wake County. The details of the county funded program are still being finalized, but the program was developed in response to North Carolina being one of only a few states that automatically prosecutes 16 and 17 year olds as adults. The program is only opened to students who commit nonviolent misdemeanors at school. Prior to the program, these children would have entered the adult criminal system. Now, they have to opportunity to be diverted to alternatives such as Teen Court and mediation. Every child who successfully completes the program, which includes treatment for behavioral issues, would face no criminal charges or have an arrest record on file.
Hopefully, this program will help close the school-to-prison pipeline and get North Carolina one step closer to raising the age.
You can read the rest of Positive Steps Towards Decriminalizing School Misbehavior In Wake County at the News and Observer.
From Our Blog: Raising the Age Updates
The Wake County Board of Commissioners is the latest group to join the growing list of supporters for raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction in North Carolina. According to Indy Weekly, the commissioners stressed that teenagers should be allowed to make mistakes...read more
The Carolina Justice Policy Center, as one of the members of the Raise the Age Coalition, has worked for over a decade to raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction in North Carolina. Wednesday, March 8, 2017, we moved a giant step closer. With 68 bi-partisan primary and...read more
The Raise the Age Coalition is building momentum towards finally making substantive change to the laws in North Carolina. The North Carolina Sheriffs' Association is the latest group to throw its support behind raising the age in North Carolina. Previously, the...read more