BREAKING NEWS: Raise The Age Passes the NC House!
Council for Children’s Rights is really excited that the North Carolina House of Representatives passed House Bill 725 – Young Offenders Rehabilitation Act – yesterday by a vote of 77-39. This bill, informally known as “Raise The Age,” would over time raise the age of juvenile court jurisdiction from 16 to 18. North Carolina is currently one of two states that still prosecute all 16 and 17 year olds as adults.
Implementation of House Bill 725 would not begin until 2019 and only applies to children charged with misdemeanor offenses. Children charged with felony and motor vehicle offenses would still be heard in adult court.
Research has been conducted on the appropriate venue to hear cases of 16- and 17-year-old children and have found that children recidivate less if tried in juvenile court, have the opportunity to earn better jobs, and do not suffer the life-long consequences of an adult conviction.
This bill passing the House is a huge step for North Carolina. Council for Children’s Rights hopes the North Carolina Senate will hear and pass the bill soon so we can begin the process of addressing children’s needs in juvenile court.