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Tag: raise the age
  • Raise the Age and Enforcement of Domestic Violence Protective Orders and Civil No-Contact Orders

    The Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act and its subsequent corresponding legislation raised the age of juvenile jurisdiction to 18 for most offenses committed at ages 16 or 17 that would otherwise be crimes. S.L. 2017-57, §§ 16.D.4.(a)-16.D.4.(tt) and S.L. 2019-186. Last summer, the legislature enacted changes to the criminal law to ensure that minors who fall outside of raise the age and continue to be tried as adults are not housed in adult jails. S.L. 2020-83, §§ 8.(a)-8.(p).  While it may feel like these changes must mean that the age of 18 is now consistently the legal demarcation for being treated as an adult, the law continues to use the age of 16 as a defining line in some instances. For example, Chapter 50B (Domestic Violence) and Chapter 50C (Civil No-Contact Orders) continue to provide that domestic violence protective orders (DVPOs) and Civil No-Contact Orders can be obtained against youth once they reach the age of 16. This blog addresses how enforcement of these orders against youth who are ages 16 and 17 is affected by raise the age and by the removal of minors from jails. Continue Reading

  • Jurisdiction Over Parents in Delinquency Cases When the Juvenile is 18 or Older

    Does the court have authority over parents of juveniles who are respondents in delinquency matters once the juvenile turns 18? This question has come up repeatedly as practitioners across North Carolina continue to implement the Juvenile Jurisdiction Reinvestment Act (JJRA), the law that brought the vast majority of youth who commit offenses at ages 16 and 17 under juvenile court jurisdiction. The short answer is—yes. However, that fact does not mean that this jurisdictional law is without complications. This blog explains why the new jurisdictional laws have led to increased numbers of 18- and 19-year-olds under juvenile court jurisdiction, the court’s authority over the parents of those youth, and complications related to this jurisdictional authority over parents of people who are legally adults. Continue Reading

  • Juvenile Justice System Impacts in the First Year of Raise the Age

    The Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act (JJRA), which raised the age of juvenile court jurisdiction to include youth who commit offenses at ages 16 and 17, went into effect on December 1, 2019. What impacts have been realized in the juvenile justice system as a result? The Juvenile Jurisdiction Advisory Committee (JJAC), created by the JJRA, submitted its required interim report to the General Assembly on January 15, 2021. The report provides many details about the first year of implementation as well as JJAC recommendations for legislative amendments and ongoing budgetary needs. This blog provides a summary of some of the trends during the first year of raise the age implementation as detailed in the report. Continue Reading

  • Expunction Relief for “Doughnut Hole” Youth

    Much of the conversation at one of the first Juvenile Jurisdiction Advisory Committee meetings I attended centered on “doughnut hole” youth. The meeting participants were discussing the long pause between when raise the age legislation passed in June of 2017 until the time it would take effect in December of 2019. Many 16- and 17-year-old youth would continue to be convicted in criminal court for things that the legislature had already determined should be juvenile offenses for youth their age. Caught in between passage and implementation, these kids were in the “doughnut hole.” The legislature included a remedy for these youth, and many others, in the Second Chance Act (S562) that was ratified on June 17, 2020. Certain misdemeanor and Class H and I felony convictions for offenses committed before raise the age took effect and when the person was 16 or 17, can now be expunged. This new expunction opportunity is available to any person with an existing conviction from the age of 16 or 17 that would now fall under juvenile jurisdiction and not just the young people who were caught in the doughnut hole. Continue Reading

  • Raise the Age Tips and Resources for Law Enforcement

    North Carolina sits four days away from implementation of the most significant change to juvenile court jurisdiction since the inception of the juvenile delinquency system 100 years ago. Beginning on December 1, 2019, most offenses alleged to have been committed by 16- and 17-year-olds will begin under juvenile jurisdiction. G.S. 7B-1501(7)b, G.S. 7B-1604(b). This change will shift the procedures that law enforcement must follow when processing 16- and 17-year-olds for these now juvenile offenses from criminal procedures to juvenile procedures. The good news, as Jeff Ledford, Chief of Police in Shelby, N.C., put it—if an officer knows how to take a 13-year-old into custody today, that officer knows how to take a 16- or 17-year-old into custody on December 1st.  This blog provides three key tips for law enforcement to follow and links to a short training video and job aid developed specifically for law enforcement training on raise the age. Continue Reading

  • Raise the Age FAQs

    Training efforts to support implementation of the Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act, or “raise the age,” are in full swing. With the December 1, 2019 implementation date drawing near, I have had the pleasure of teaching about the new law at many fall conferences and at five regional workshops. Common questions have been raised across these venues. This blog contains answers to some of those commonly asked questions as well as information on how to access further training and resources. Continue Reading

  • Raise the Age: Modifications and Training Opportunities

    Session Law 2019-186, enacted on August 1, 2019, put the finishing touches on the new law that will raise the age of juvenile court jurisdiction in North Carolina beginning on December 1, 2019. The modifications include clarification on which offense will remain outside of juvenile court jurisdiction, an expanded timeline for probable cause hearings in some instances, and a new option to remand some cases that have been transferred to superior court back to district court for juvenile processing. If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed or confused by raise the age, fear not. A raise the age workshop is coming to an area near you this fall. Stick with me to the end of this blog and you will find links to get to the registration page. Continue Reading

  • Getting Ready for Raise the Age Implementation

    North Carolina now sits ten months away from implementation of the Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act (JJRA), widely referred to as “Raise the Age.” I had the opportunity to attend a summit hosted by Justice Initiatives in Charlotte last week focused on readiness for raise the age implementation. The recent report from the Juvenile Jurisdiction Advisory Committee (JJAC) is full of information about what still needs to be done for optimal implementation. The recommendations contain two major themes: provide legislative fixes to avoid unintended consequences and fully fund the new system. Continue Reading

  • The Juvenile Court Counselor’s Role As Gatekeeper

    With the passage of “Raise the Age” legislation this year, juvenile justice officials, the court system, law enforcement agencies, and various other state officials are busy planning and preparing for the implementation of this major policy change which will become effective December 1, 2019 (see this prior blog post). One of the issues raised by juvenile court counselors is whether their authority to approve juvenile petitions will be impacted by the mandatory transfer to adult court of 16 and 17-year-olds who commit Class A-G felonies. The short answer is no. Here’s why.

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  • “Raise the Age” Is Now the Law in North Carolina

    North Carolina is no longer the only state in the U.S. that automatically prosecutes juveniles as adults beginning at age 16. In June, the General Assembly ended a century long practice of prosecuting teens as adults by enacting the Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act as part of the 2017 state budget, which raised the age of criminal responsibility to 18. As a result, most 16 and 17-year-olds will be prosecuted in juvenile court beginning December 1, 2019. There are, however, some exceptions. Here’s what you should know about this historic reform. Continue Reading

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