North Carolina officially implemented Raise the Age legislation Dec. 1, 2019 — the change in law means that most 16- and 17-year-olds no longer have to go through the adult criminal justice system and anyone under the age of 18 no longer goes to adult jail.
The Department of Public Safety’s Juvenile Justice division has been hard at work making sure law enforcement, court staff and stakeholders are updated about how the change is coming along. Part of its implementation process involves keeping close track of the numbers — how many Raise the Age complaints are made, how many juveniles are detained, and at some point, trying to figure out the rate of recidivism.
The first set of numbers associated with the new law was released earlier this month at the Juvenile Jurisdiction Advisory Committee meeting as part of an initial interim report to lawmakers about Raise the Age.
As reported by NC Policy Watch yesterday, so far, the projections the committee made have generally been close to, or a little under, what was expected. It’s a trend Deputy Secretary William Lassiter hopes holds.
The committee projected 1,683 Raise the Age complaints in the month of December – the first month of implementation – but preliminary data shows there were only 407. It was anticipated there would be 60 juveniles detained that first month, and reports show there were 78.
The numbers can and probably will change, after all, investigations are still ongoing. The committee will complete another interim report in May, though, to give lawmakers and the public a more accurate picture of how implementation is taking off.
Check out the table below for a preliminary district breakdown of Raise the Age complaints in December.
Raise the Age complaints by districtThe age of juvenile jurisdiction was officially raised as of Dec. 1 to include 16- and 17-year-olds. The following table reflects preliminary data from the month of December in 2019 and shows how many Raise the Age complaints were made to each district in the state. A Raise the Age complaint is defined as complaints received on juveniles ages 16 and 17. The data was provided by the Department of Public Safety's Juvenile Justice division and is current as of Jan. 8, 2020.
|District number||Number of Raise the Age complaints|