Kearns Davis, a partner at Brooks Pierce and president of the North Carolina Bar Association, was recently quoted by Attorney At Law Magazine in an article about a proposal to raise the juvenile age for misdemeanors.
Currently, 16- and 17-year-olds are treated as adults in the North Carolina criminal justice system. Under a proposal by the North Carolina Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice, all individuals under age 18 would be considered juveniles except in cases of violent felonies and traffic violations. Legislation to implement the proposal has been introduced in the North Carolina General Assembly.
North Carolina is one of only two states where juveniles ages 16 and 17 are tried as adults, even for misdemeanors.
Attorney At Law Magazine covered a speech Davis recently gave to the Wake County Bar Association where he talked about the proposal.
“A key component of the commission’s recommendation is that the change be supported fully by the resources needed by all those responsible for implementing it,” said Davis. “The data show that raising the age to 18 ultimately saves costs in the long run, including reduction in long-term prison costs and, most importantly, in lower rates of recidivism among those who go through the juvenile justice system.”