Title















Site Registration | FInd a Copy | Event Calendar | Site Map | Search the Site
The Voice of the Black Community

News

Backers: Raise age on justice for youth
Push to cover 16- and 17-year-oldss
 
Published Thursday, May 31, 2012 8:12 am
by Stephanie Carroll Carson, N.C. News Service

RALEIGH – The state House Judiciary Committee today will hear testimony about proposed legislation to raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction.


North Carolina is one of only two states which automatically prosecute 16- and 17-year-olds as adults for misdemeanors as minor as stealing a can of soda. Child advocates acknowledge that such crimes should be recognized by the judicial system, but many are pushing for the Legislature to pass SB 434, which prosecutes teen-agers as juveniles in misdemeanor cases.


Brandy Bynum, director of policy and outreach for the group Action for Children North Carolina, says leaving youths with a permanent criminal record can have lifelong effects.


“They have their whole lives ahead of them - and for them to have access to opportunities for education, employment and sometimes, even housing, they can be restricted from that because they have this adult permanent record,” she said.


Under the proposed bill, teens who commit felonies would continue to be prosecuted as adults.


Bynum points to the success of the juvenile-justice system in North Carolina, where juvenile crime is at a 12-year low.


“We know they could do the same thing with 16- and 17-year-olds. We can keep them from having an adult record, but also give these kids a chance to put their lives on the right track - to become taxpayers, and not tax burdens,” she said.


Because they often are first-time offenders, 86 percent of 16- and 17-year-olds found guilty of crimes in North Carolina end up receiving probation, although Bynum explains that being prosecuted as an adult leaves them with a permanent record. In some cases, they serve time with adults in county jails while they await trial, which she says is another concern.

Comments

Leave a Comment


Send this page to a friend

Upcoming Events

read all
22

Colour of Music: All Black Classical Musicians Festival

The 2nd annual Colour of Music Festival will

25

Walk Like MADD

Walk like MADD is the signature fundraising event

25

AARP Financial Freedom Workshop

FREE FINANCIAL FREEDOM WORKSHOPS FOR FAMILY

Latest News

read all

Car review: 2015 Acura TLX

PETOSK, Mich, – It has been a long time, more than a decade, since you could put Acura and fun to drive in the same sentence, but the Japanese automaker unleashed its engineers and let them create a car that is indeed a watershed. 2015 Acura TLX Exterior V6 SH-AWD and the 2015 Acura TLX replaced the Acura TSX and TL. Neither midsize sedan could be

Cheer of the week: Providence-Harding

Week 10 candidates for best squad

Hornets look for consistency

Stability needed as regular season opens