North Carolina: Get Children Out of the Adult System
  • Petitioning North Carolina Governor

This petition will be delivered to:

North Carolina Governor
North Carolina State Senate
North Carolina State House

North Carolina: Get Children Out of the Adult System

    1. Petition by

      NC Child

When children end up in the adult criminal justice system, no one wins. Research shows that prosecuting youth charged with low-level crimes in the adult criminal justice system wastes young lives, fosters crime, does not increase public safety, and costs society more in the long run.

Youth charged with low-level crimes should be handled in the juvenile justice system.

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.

North Carolina remains one of only two states in the nation that still prosecute 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, or even education.

A bag of chips shouldn't cost a kid his future-- or taxpayers a lifetime of support. But in North Carolina it does! A North Carolina high school student was arrested and charged with larceny in 2011 for stealing a .69 cent bag of Doritos from the cafeteria. Yes, this kid made a mistake and deserves consequences. But in N.C., our outdated system of trying 16 and 17-year-olds who commit minor, low-level crimes as adults means far more drastic and permanent consequences than almost anywhere in the country. By Raising the Age of juvenile jurisdiction to 18, we'll discipline our kids effectively and prevent them from becoming career criminals.

Tell North Carolina's leaders that it's time to join the rest of the country. Tell them to throw out this nearly 100-year-old law and put 16- and 17-year-olds accused of low-level crimes in the juvenile justice system, where they can be treated, rehabilitated, educated, counseled, and prepared for a successful life.

Please sign this petition to help us reach our goal of 10,000 signatures--that’s how many 16 and 17-year olds are convicted as adults in N.C. every year.

Recent signatures


    1. 1,650 signatures from landmark 5,000 signatures

      We have a goal of reaching 10,000 signatures - the number of 16 and 17 year olds convicted as adults every year. Please share our petition as we are 1650 from reaching half of that 10,000 goal! We can only do this with you. With your help we will send the resounding message that the people of North Carolina no longer want to witness bright and talented youth with criminal records which cripple their future opportunities and prosperity. Please share this petition with your own social networks, family and friends.

      Here's the direct link to the petition:

      2013 is THE year to Raise the Age in North Carolina. Let's continue the charge!

      North Carolina: Get Children Out of the Adult System

      When children end up in the adult criminal justice system, no one wins. Research shows that prosecuting youth charged with low-level crimes in the...

    2. Reached 3,000 signatures
    3. New York and North Carolina Automatically Charge Teens as Adults

      Most states keep kids charged with crimes in the juvenile court system, designed specifically with young people in mind, unless a judge decides that the serverity of the crime warrants being tried as an adult. But not in North Carolina and New York,...


    Reasons for signing

    • Lori Cochard LAKE WACCAMAW, NC
      • 28 days ago

      I have worked in the field of child welfare and juvenile justice for 25 years. Having come from another state I was very concerned to learn that NC continues to prosecute 16 and 17 yr olds under adult court. As the studies show, this action has grave outstanding consequences to the youth and the community that defeat the originally intended intervention.

    • Nelida Rivas RALEIGH, NC
      • about 1 month ago

      We need to protect our children from real criminals

    • Cheryl Smith GREENSBORO, NC
      • about 1 month ago

      As a Parent, PTA Leader, and Child Advocate, I know that children's reasoning is not fully developed. Most don't understand the consequences of their actions, or that they have rights.

    • Devin Maness LEXINGTON, NC
      • 2 months ago

      Time to repair a broken system.

    • Elaine Laraway GREENVILLE, NC
      • 4 months ago



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