Adolescence is a challenging time when many youth make mistakes that can result in police involvement. With good support, these indiscretions can be opportunities for them to mature and build skills that help them grow into successful adults.
Unfortunately, North Carolina’s current approach to these issues undermines the future success of youthful offenders and jeopardizes public safety.
North Carolina is one of only two states that automatically charges all 16- and 17-year-olds as adults, regardless of the crime. This leaves kids with a permanent adult criminal record that makes it difficult to find a job, get a higher education, or even find housing. It’s no surprise that children charged in the adult system are more likely to commit another crime than those charged in the juvenile system.
That’s why legal experts and organizations across the political spectrum support ‘raising the age’ of juvenile jurisdiction and ending this outdated practice.