State News

Bills seek to keep more youths in juvenile courts

Posted May 5, 2009 4:03 a.m. EDT
Updated May 5, 2009 11:49 a.m. EDT

— Advocates for young offenders are trying again to get North Carolina law changed so that 16- and 17-year-olds will be tried in the juvenile courts in most situations.

The group Action for Children North Carolina planned a news conference Tuesday at the Legislative Building, along with legislators who have filed bills to raise the age of jurisdiction by adult courts to age 18.

Action for Children says North Carolina is the only state where 16-year-olds are prosecuted automatically in adult court, with no exceptions. The House and Senate bills wouldn't change the current law that allows a child as young as 13 to be tried in adult court on a felony if a judge agrees.

The bills also would create a panel help with the transition.