Strengthening Families and CommunitiesSupporting Kids and Young Adults

Raising the Age

New York and North Carolina are the only two states where 16-year-olds arrested for crimes are always treated as adults. Several states presumptively treat 17-year-olds as adults, but most states set the bar at age 18. Knowing what’s best and basing state law on accurate information isn’t easy.

That’s why we helped a commission in New York and a task force in North Carolina anticipate the impact of raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction. Using nuanced system analysis and the best available research on policy and practice, we were able to help officials take a careful look at the points where serving more young people within the juvenile justice system costs more, and where innovative policy and practice can restrain costs. In North Carolina, we used cost-benefit analysis to go look beyond calculating system costs and savings to also calculating the net social benefits of raising the age. 

Related Work

Georgia’s step forward

Transforming a status offense system to help children, families, and communities

Earlier this month, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed into law HB 242—a complete rewrite of the state’s juvenile code. The revisions, which emerged from a multi-year reform process and were passed unanimously in the state House and Senate, represent a fundamental shift in the philosophy that underpins the state’s juvenile justice system. Aligned ...

Blog Post
  • Alessandra  Meyer
    Alessandra Meyer
May 30, 2013
Blog Post