Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act Implementation Guide

Tuesday, October 1, 2019
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Prior to the passage of the Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act (JJRA), the criminal and juvenile laws of North Carolina had always treated youth who engage in criminal activity at age 16 and 17 as adults. Before the juvenile court was created, cases of youth who committed criminal offenses between the ages of 7 and 14 were handled in adult court under the common law of crimes applicable to children. Youth ages 15 and older were processed in adult court under the criminal law. The first juvenile court in North Carolina was established in 1919, and its jurisdiction extended only through offenses committed when juveniles were 15 years old, maintaining the construct of criminal prosecution for all offenses committed at ages 16 and 17.

It is this construct of processing all offenses committed by youth at ages 16 and 17 as criminal offenses that will change on December 1, 2019, when the majority of the JJRA’s provisions will take effect. This significant expansion of juvenile court jurisdiction became law after many years of study and debate regarding North Carolina’s age of juvenile court jurisdiction.

This guidebook will outline changes in the law that resulted from the JJRA. While it is not intended to serve as a guidebook for all juvenile delinquency practice, background will be provided to inform discussion of areas of law that were amended in the JJRA.

 

Publication date: 
Tuesday, October 1, 2019
Author: 
Jacquelyn Greene
ISBN: 
978-1-56011-965-4
Public Officials - Courts and Judicial Administration Roles