The juvenile justice system is far better situated to appropriately manage 16 and 17 year olds who had previously been treated as adults in the criminal justice system. With the passage of the Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act, North Carolina teens will remain in the juvenile system when charged with misdemeanors and low-level felonies.
North Carolina’s overly complicated criminal code leads to costly ambiguities and inefficiencies. Our state’s use of local ordinances creates the potential where a person could be walking from one county to the next and violating the law without even knowing. By clearing up the state’s criminal code – we can save money and greatly improve the efficiency of the justice system.
Our state prisons have become the default housing for individuals who need treatment, not incarceration. Leaders from both sides of the political aisle, mental health advocacy groups and the state’s Department of Public Safety agree we need to work together to find better solutions for managing this population when they become involved in the justice system.
Community Alternatives to Incarceration / Solutions for Reentry
When an individual is incarcerated for a low-level, nonviolent crime, their family is torn apart and that individual will then carry the stigma of a criminal record when he/she is released from prison. While we can all agree that some crimes absolutely deserve prison time, our communities and wallets will benefit if we can take an empirical look at how we can best handle charging through the criminal justice system and best support those individuals who’ve been incarcerated to reduce the rate of recidivism.
After an individual serves their sentence, pays their debt to society and proves that they have reformed by staying uninvolved with the justice system for several years, we believe that they should be allowed a second chance at life. We recognize that reformed individuals shouldn’t have to face barriers to everyday needs such as acquiring jobs and housing for the rest of their lives. By lifting the burden placed on these individuals, the rate of recidivism will decrease and they will also be able to become contributing members of society once again.