We are proud to have had our own Beth Nelson, who serves as Chair for the Wake County Juvenile Crime Council, offer her support of HB 280 “Raise the Age” to the Wake County Board of Commissioners. On March 20, Beth read a letter supporting this bill, entitled the “Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act.” The act would raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction to include 16- and 17-year-olds except in the case of certain felony offenses and motor vehicle infractions. North Carolina is the ONLY state in the country that automatically prosecutes 16- and 17-year-olds as adults regardless of the severity of the crime. Ninety-seven percent of crimes committed by 16- and 17-year-olds in North Carolina are categorized as either misdemeanors (80%) or non-violent felonies (17%).
It is anticipated that raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction will lead to significant longterm benefits including: More effective rehabilitation of youth offenders within the juvenile justice system
Long-term financial savings
Improved academic results
Better outcomes: improved job prospects, eligibility for college financial aid and ability to enlist in the military
For more information please visit http://youthjusticenc.org/raise-the-age-nc/