Faculty Member Jessica Smith Pens Op-Ed on Raising the Age of Juvenile Crime in NC

Jessica Smith

Faculty member Jessica Smith wrote an op-ed for the Greensboro News & Record on a proposal before the North Carolina Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice to raise the age of juvenile crimes to 18. Here is an excerpt:

Is a 16-year-old really an adult?

North Carolina currently treats 16- and 17-year-olds like adults for purposes of criminal justice. Consider Tommy, who gets into a school fight a day after his 16th birthday. Tommy is arrested. Because he can’t pay his secured bond, he’s detained in the local jail, with adult defendants. Tommy’s case proceeds to adult criminal court without any required parental involvement. Tommy is convicted and serves his sentence in adult prison. His criminal record is publicly available, making him ineligible for employment, public education and college financial aid, among other things.

What would have happened if the fight occurred just two days earlier? Read more


Published August 3, 2016