The Legislative Research Commission’s final meeting on the Raise the Age issue is tomorrow, December 18, at 2 PM. The meeting will take place in Room 643 at the Legislative Office Building (16 West Jones Street) in Raleigh.
LRC committee members will be voting on recommendations that will be used in the group’s presentation during the 2013 legislative session in January. Concerned citizens are invited to attend this meeting to show support of raising the minimum age of the adult court system in NC from 16 to 18. Allies, families, and youth who care and are impacted by the current outdated law are all welcome.
If you cannot make the meeting, you can send an online statement of support. Some important talking points include:
- North Carolina is one of only two states that prosecutes all 16- and 17-year-olds as adults, regardless of the severity of the crime. (One 16-year-old was recently charged with a felony for stealing a bag of Doritos!)
- From the N&O: Raising the age can create “a significant opportunity to get smarter on fighting crime, create an effective juvenile justice system, and shore up the workforce by opening doors for more productive, law-abiding citizens.”
- This is an issue with bipartisan support. The juvenile court system includes proper treatment and services, as well as continuation of education and frequent contact with counselors; none of this is supplied in the adult court system.
- From 2007 data, the NC Sentencing & Policy Advisory Commission found that handling 16- and 17-year-olds in a juvenile court system resulted in less crime and fewer tax dollars being spent.
You can take action either by going to tomorrow’s meeting or by sending a statement of support to the North Carolina General Assembly.