North Carolina is one of only two states in America that automatically prosecutes all 16- and 17-year-olds as adults, regardless of the severity of their crimes. This means a 16-year-old who shoplifts a pack of gum, or a bottle of nail polish or a Coke will be treated as an adult in North Carolina, and saddled with a criminal record for the rest of his or her life.
For youth to be automatically treated as adults, even for minor crimes, is bad policy. Under an important and much needed reform, House Bill 399, 16- and 17-year-olds who commit misdemeanors would no longer be handled in the adult system. Rather, they would be dealt with in the juvenile system, which insists on appropriate punishment and restitution, while strictly monitoring kids’ progress. Take a few minutes and take stand for NC kids! Encourage your legislators to support HB 399.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE OVERVIEW
- 1 in 46 adults in the criminal justice system
- Taxpayer burden: $29,965 per prisoner per year
- Adults in prison: 36,922
- Adults in jail: 19,168
- Adults on probation: 96,070
- Adults on Parole: 4,359
- Rate of juveniles (per 100,000) in residential placement: 74