North Carolina remains one of only two states in the nation that still prosecutes all 16- and 17-year-olds as adults, regardless of the severity of the crime. When youth end up in adult court, there is limited access to rehabilitative programming, mentoring, counseling, and education.

Evidence shows that the juvenile system – with programs tailored to how children think and learn – is more effective at rehabilitating youth. Fewer then go on to commit another crime, which means lower costs to society and more children growing up to become educated, employed citizens.

The Youth Justice Project supports the effort to Raise the Age by doing the following:

  • Conducting community education and presentations
  • Participating in statewide and national Raise the Age coalitions
  • Educating and talking with policymakers
  • Advocating at public hearings, forums, and meetings statewide
  • Organizing local support
  • Gathering signatures for the Raise the Age petition (If you would like to sign the petition, click here.)

For more information on how to get involved, visit raisetheagenc.org.

Do you want your voice in our collection? Print out our Raise the Age sign and tell us why you think North Carolina should stop putting youth younger than 18 in the adult criminal system. Send your image to youthjusticenc@gmail.com and we’ll post it here. Share your own images on social media using the hashtag #RaisetheAgeNC

Access the Raise the Age Printout here.