Raise the Age

On December 1, 2019  North Carolina will join the rest of the country in raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction beyond the age of 16 to age 18.  Here you will find various materials detailing the progress of N.C.’s Raise the Age initiative and OJD’s plans to prepare juvenile defenders for the changes in legislation. (This page will be updated as the law goes into effect and more news and details become available.)

Legislation:  Here you can find the most recent legislation passed on the Age of Juvenile Jurisdiction and summaries for cases influenced by the new law.

  • Senate Bill 413: 2019 Session Amendments to the RTA Bill (Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act)
  • Senate Bill 257: The final bill budget for Session Law 2017; info pertaining to the Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act can be found on pages 309-325

Juvenile Jurisdiction Advisory Committee (JJAC):  Here we will provide the reports/updates from JJAC as we progress toward the implementation of Raise the Age.

  • January 2019 Interim Report: An update to the 2019 report, with additional legal and funding recommendations.
  • March 2018 Interim Report: This report details recommendations for housing and transfers of juveniles, requests for additional staffing, funding, and capital for multiple organizations, and implementation dates for various initiatives toward Raise the Age.

Media: News articles and other media about the progress of North Carolina’s new plan to Raise the Age

  • Gault at 50 & Raise the Age:  In collaboration with the Administrative Office of the Courts, our office created this video acknowledging the 50th anniversary of the landmark In re Gault decision and it’s relationship to raising the age in N.C. (2017)
  • NC Department of Adult Corrections and Juvenile Justice:  This presentation from DACJJ Deputy Secretary William Lassiter presents points on the history, the implementation plan, and the vision for what Raise the Age will do for N.C.  This document also offers suggestions to reduce recidivism, youth psychological development research, and other data.

Other Links: Useful info for defenders regarding RTA from other organizations.

  • NC DPS: Raise the Age: Another overview and what to expect as Raise the Age goes into effect. The North Carolina Department of Public Safety addresses facts and myths surrounding exactly what it took to pass Raise the Age and just how RTA will work in juvenile court.
  • Campaign for Youth Justice: Here you can find a compilation of reports and bills connected to N.C.’s efforts to raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction.  CFYJ has also created a one-page “Raise the Age Explainer” to quickly summarize what the bill does and when.
  • The Resistance to Reform: In this article, Tamar Birckhead examines the history of attempts by advocates to raise the age and how the efforts failed. (2008)
  • UNC School of Government SB257 Summary:  Professor LaToya Powell breaks down each individual section of Senate Bill 257
  • NC Department of Public Safety:  NCDPS has created their own page, with a list of reports and articles related to Raise the Age, summaries of the law and info on the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee.
  • 1915 Probation Courts Act transcription:  Here we’ve done a separate transcription of the 1915 Probation Courts Act, using the exact language from chapter 222 of the Public Laws of North Carolina: Session 1915.