Any N.C. legislator seriously favoring the part of House Bill 217 giving prosecutors authority to send children as young as 13 to adult criminal court should see last week’s “Rock Center” on NBC. What happens to many juveniles in the adult criminal justice system was on stark display.
Raise the Age: Keep Children Out of the Adult System
CARRBORO, N.C. - North Carolina remains one of only two states in the country to continue to prosecute 16- and 17-year-olds as adults, regardless of the crime they commit. Two bills in the Senate and House would amend the law to allow teens of those ages who commit non-violent crimes to be prosecuted as juveniles.
State Sen. Ellie Kinnaird (D-Dist. 23) is championing the legislation. She says while critics may say the proposal is soft on crime, nothing could be farther from the truth.
State House proposal flies in the face of research on juvenile justice
North Carolina remains one of only two states that automatically prosecute all 16- and 17-year-olds as adults – even for an infraction as minor as stealing a bag of Doritos.
We agree that wrongs deserve consequences; however, our state’s outdated system does far more harm than good. It exposes children to the influence of seasoned adult criminals. It also saddles them with an adult criminal record, which often cuts short opportunities for gainful employment and higher education.
Thank you for your important coverage of crimes involving young people ( “Teens accused in killings confound trend,” Dec. 31 news story). The article, however, brought up efforts to raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction without noting one hugely significant fact: Proposals approved by a bipartisan committee of the House Legislative Research Commission would apply only to 16- and 17-year-olds who commit misdemeanors.
The child poverty rate in North Carolina is expected to remain at 26 percent, among the highest in the nation, according to a recent student by the bipartisan national child advocacy group First Focus.
The study used unemployment, nutrition assistance and lagged poverty data for its forecast.
Push for North Carolina to ‘Raise the Age’ Bills would try 16-, 17-year-olds as juveniles, The Charlotte Post (11.29.2012)
CARRBORO – North Carolina remains one of only two states in the country to continue to prosecute 16- and 17-year-olds as adults, regardless of the crime they commit.
Two bills in the Senate and House would amend the law to allow teens of those ages who commit non-violent crimes to be prosecuted as juveniles.
State Sen. Ellie Kinnaird (D-Dist. 23) is championing the legislation, which she maintains is anything but soft on crime.
When I first began practicing in juvenile delinquency court in North Carolina eight years ago, I was shocked to discover that the maximum age of jurisdiction is 15.
Suppose your 16-year-old gets arrested for trespassing. In North Carolina, he will be tried as an adult. That is an absurdity that Action for Children North Carolina and a bipartisan group of legislators want to change.
It’s not unusual for children age 16, or even younger, to face adult sanctions for serious crimes. In Florida, Nathaniel Brazill, who killed a middle school teacher in 2000 when he was 13, was sentenced to 28 years in prison.