Orange County Goes a Little Easier on Juvenile Delinquents | Triangulator | Indy Week
Pin It

Orange County Goes a Little Easier on Juvenile Delinquents 

Sorry, delinquents: North Carolina is the worst place in the country to be arrested as a teenager.

A draconian state law dictates that sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds picked up for minor misdemeanors—littering, possession of a small amount of marijuana, etc.—are treated like adults in the criminal justice system. Every year, thousands of North Carolina teenagers start their adult lives with a criminal record because of mistakes they made before they were even allowed to vote.

This isn't the case anywhere else in America besides New York, which bests the Old North State by having a provision in place that guides such teens from the adult system to juvie under certain circumstances.

Last week, Orange County announced a move to maneuver around this law. First-time teenage offenders will now be issued a youth citation that routes them toward a ninety-day misdemeanor diversion program that includes community service and educational court sessions, which lay out how damaging (and expensive) their punishment would have otherwise been.

It's modeled after the MDP in Durham County pioneered by Chief District Judge Marcia Morey, which has a 98 percent success rate: of the 125 youths who have passed through it, only two didn't complete the program, and only four received new charges.

Morey tells the INDY that she's "delighted" Orange County has decided to adopt her model. "Although it is not a substitute for North Carolina law to be changed to raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction to eighteen, it is a start," Morey says.

Morey also notes that several other counties have expressed interest in starting similar diversion programs, including Buncombe, New Hanover, Guilford, Warren, Mecklenburg, and Cumberland.

triangulator@indyweek.com

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Triangulator



Twitter Activity

Comments

"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. ... They're sending people that have lots of problems, and …

by Tryan Banme on A History of Donald Trump’s Racism, Abridged (Triangulator)

"Computer-driven vehicles? Really? We've been saying that for the last 30 years."

?! The hardware for a fully autonomous …

by Mark Bahner on Environmentalists Aren’t Happy About the NCDOT’s Plan to Finish the I-540 Beltway (Triangulator)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. ... They're sending people that have lots of problems, and …

by Tryan Banme on A History of Donald Trump’s Racism, Abridged (Triangulator)

"Computer-driven vehicles? Really? We've been saying that for the last 30 years."

?! The hardware for a fully autonomous …

by Mark Bahner on Environmentalists Aren’t Happy About the NCDOT’s Plan to Finish the I-540 Beltway (Triangulator)

Computer-driven vehicles? Really? We've been saying that for the last 30 years.

And even if that managed to come …

by Mark Neill on Environmentalists Aren’t Happy About the NCDOT’s Plan to Finish the I-540 Beltway (Triangulator)

It's a very bad time to do any transportation project that is capital-intensive and long-term. The reason is that computer-driven …

by Mark Bahner on Environmentalists Aren’t Happy About the NCDOT’s Plan to Finish the I-540 Beltway (Triangulator)

Seriously? Time for opposers to get their heads out of the sand and see that Raleigh's growth is blowing up. …

by Granted on Environmentalists Aren’t Happy About the NCDOT’s Plan to Finish the I-540 Beltway (Triangulator)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation