By Allison Jordan
To the editor:
Bipartisanship prevailed last week, as our N.C. House demonstrated how it can benefit communities across our state when it voted 77-39 to Raise the Age of juvenile jurisdiction. A diverse team of groups including Justice Fellowship, the NC Faith and Freedom Coalition, NC Child, and Children First/CIS came together to encourage legislators to back the bill. This common sense reform will raise the age of adult sentencing for misdemeanors to 18-years-old. Currently, North Carolina is one of only two states that automatically handle 16- and 17-year-old misdemeanants in the adult justice system. This is bad policy. Kids prosecuted as adults for low-level offenses have trouble finding jobs and getting into college, and are more likely to get into additional trouble. The juvenile system is more attuned to both firmly teaching kids a lesson and getting them back on track.
Both the speaker of the house and the house minority leader supported this smart on crime change — and set a shining example for their colleagues in the Senate. All three of Buncombe County’s Representatives (Fisher, Moffitt, Ramsey) not only voted for the bill but cosponsored the bill with Rep. Moffitt leading as a primary sponsor. We applaud them.
Allison Jordan, Asheville
Praise for bipartisan effort in Raleigh, Asheville Citizen-Times (5/29/14)