In 44 states and the District of Columbia, the age at which young offenders age out of the juvenile justice system is now 18. In five states, it is 17. That leaves North Carolina as the only state that still treats all 16- and 17-year-olds as adults for criminal justice purposes.
Recent developments suggest that the North Carolina General Assembly may soon pass legislation that would raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction and bring our criminal justice system into line with the rest of the country. By getting the details of this legislation right, the General Assembly can maximize the many benefits to North Carolina of this sensible, long overdue reform.
Click here to read Jon Guze’s full report.