Join us TONIGHT, Thursday, May 25 at Avondale Presbyterian Church for a compelling Program About Racial Justice & “Raise The Age” (Free Admission). 6:00-7:30 PM.
Avondale Presbyterian Church, 2821 Park Rd, Charlotte, NC 28209.
Are we sure people of color face “systemic” racism? Do we have any data? YES WE DO. Come hear from experts, explore the data and ask all your questions.
The evenings speakers include:
Dr. Susan McCarter, a professor at UNCC and former juvenile probation officer. Her compelling data lays bare the effects of systemic racism and implicit bias.
Nikkea Wiler, who has worked for more than a decade to transform our teenagers through The Possibility Project. Her important insights will illuminate this topic and the ways we think about it.
Frank Crawford, from The Children’s Alliance joins us to discuss the current legislative push to “raise the age,” an effort to change NC law so that 16 and 17 year olds are no longer treated as adults in the criminal justice system.
RSVP. (An RSVP helps us plan, but is not mandatory.)
Article on Raise the Age from 2016 BY FRANK H. CRAWFORD JR., Special to the Charlotte Observer:
After more than 10 years of discussions, there is a reasonable chance that the N.C. Legislature could act on a bill that would raise the age of juvenile court jurisdiction in the state. North Carolina is one of only two states that automatically treat 16- and 17-year-olds as adults in the court system. There is clear evidence that we do harm to them when they are treated as adults in court. States, such as Connecticut, that have changed their law in recent years have found that juvenile court has much better results for kids and that future criminal behavior is seriously reduced.
The Children’s Alliance, a network of more than 30 agencies serving children in Mecklenburg County, has followed this pending legislation for several years and believes that 16- and 17-year-olds, and our communities, would be better served in juvenile courts where the focus is on rehabilitation rather than punishment such as incarceration with older adults. Some critics suggest that juvenile courts are “soft” on offenders. In fact, juvenile courts tend to render harsher sentences to youthful offenders than adult courts. Youthful offenders charged with serious felonies would continue to be handled in the adult courts.
Juvenile courts also allow more time on each case, trying to better understand the circumstances of those involved and render a sentence better suited to deter future problems. In the long run, we will reduce costs by keeping youthful offenders out of the adult court system by dealing with them more effectively at a younger age.
There is a heightened risk of youthful offenders being physically and/or sexually victimized when incarcerated with adult criminals. Imagine your son, daughter, nephew, niece, grandson or granddaughter being 16 or 17 and incarcerated with adult criminals, even for a brief period of time. This is not what we want for our kids, and therefore need to raise the age which will allow courts to treat our kids more justly.