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PROCESSING OF YOUTHFUL AND JUVENILE OFFENDERS IN NORTH CAROLINA Youth Accountability Planning Task Force December 10, 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "PROCESSING OF YOUTHFUL AND JUVENILE OFFENDERS IN NORTH CAROLINA Youth Accountability Planning Task Force December 10, 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 PROCESSING OF YOUTHFUL AND JUVENILE OFFENDERS IN NORTH CAROLINA Youth Accountability Planning Task Force December 10, 2009

2 Definitions Youthful offender – a person who is 16 or 17 years of age and commits a crime or infraction. Juvenile – except for delinquent juveniles and undisciplined juveniles, any person who has not reached 18 years of age and is not married, emancipated, or a member of the armed forces. Delinquent juvenile – any juvenile who is 6 to 15 years of age and commits a crime or infraction. Minor – a person under 18 years of age.

3 Terminology Juvenile Terminology: - Juvenile - Petition - Secure Custody - Adjudicated - Delinquent Juvenile - Disposition - Youth Development Center Adult Terminology: - Defendant - Warrant, Indictment - Pre-trial Confinement - Convicted - Criminal - Sentence - Prison


5 Offense profile of youthful offenders (FY 2007/08) Offense Class of Conviction Age at Offense 16 to less than 18 years #% Felonies Class A-E Subtotal 3112.8 Class F-I Subtotal1,51213.5 Felony Subtotal1,82316.3 Misdemeanors Class A14624.1 Class 1-3 Subtotal8,88779.6 Misdemeanor Subtotal9,34983.7 TOTAL 11,172100.0

6 General Considerations Few provisions of the adult criminal process account for “youth.” The few provisions for youth are not uniform across statute and policy. Age distinctions include “minors,” “under 17,” “19 or 20,” and others. Certain criminal offenses exist only for minors or provide for youth in sentencing considerations.

7 Adult Jurisdiction Jurisdiction of the adult criminal system begins at age 16. Age is determined by date of offense. Juveniles 13-15, charged with felonies and transferred from juvenile jurisdiction, are tried and sentenced as adults.

8 Adult Process Law enforcement officer arrests a person with or without a warrant. Magistrate determines probable cause if there was not a warrant and whether to release the person on bail or commit them to a detention facility.

9 Adult Process District court judge holds first appearance and probable cause hearings. Prosecutor submits a bill of indictment to the grand jury or proceeds on a bill of information. Grand jury returns a true bill of indictment if it finds from the evidence probable cause for the charge made.

10 Conviction and Sentencing Defendant has the right to a trial by jury. Felony or misdemeanor punishment chart is used for sentencing. –Cell that defendant falls into determines the length and type(s) of sentence authorized. –Judge has some discretion.



13 Sentencing There are no mandatory considerations for youth in adult sentencing. Two mitigating factors in felony sentencing permit the court to consider a defendant’s “age, immaturity,” or status as a minor. Capital sentencing has age limits on execution and a mitigating factor for age.

14 Corrections Very few statutory requirements for “youthful offenders” in the care of the DOC. –Priority of educational resources. –Parental consent for surgery on a minor inmate. –Nobody under 16 in Central Prison (with exceptions).

15 Corrections The Department of Correction addresses the needs of youthful offenders as a matter of policy. Separate facilities for youthful offenders: –Males: Western Youth Institution –Females: N.C. Correctional Institute for Women DCC operates the School Partnership Program for offenders in public schools, with Community or Intermediate Punishments.

16 Adult Expunction Expunction of certain records is permitted for youthful offenders who were convicted: –Under 18: any misdemeanor (other than traffic) –Under 21: possession of malt beverage or unfortified wine Expunction of charge, conditional discharge, or conviction for certain drug offenses is limited to persons under 21 at the time of the offense or the proceedings against him.


18 Juvenile Jurisdiction Jurisdiction of the juvenile system begins at age 6. Age is determined by date of offense. Exit juvenile system prior to 16 th birthday.

19 Transfer to Superior Court Discretionary by the Judge -Ages 13-15 -Charged with a Class B1- I felony Mandatory -Ages 13-15 -Charged with Class A felony Becomes “adult” for future charges as well

20 Juvenile Process A complaint is filed. A juvenile court counselor makes a preliminary decision as to whether there is a case. If so, the counselor then determines whether a complaint should filed as a petition, the juvenile diverted, or the case resolved without further action.

21 Juvenile Process A juvenile court judge holds various hearings: –First appearance if a juvenile is alleged to have committed a felony offense. –Probable cause if a juvenile is alleged to have committed a felony offense while 13, 14, or 15 years old. –Transfer if a juvenile is alleged to have committed a felony offense while 13, 14, or 15 years old.

22 Juvenile Process If a petition is filed, the juvenile is presumed indigent and appointed counsel. If the juvenile is placed in a detention center pending a court hearing, he or she has regular hearings before a judge but does not have the right to bail.

23 Adjudication and Disposition Both are done by the judge. –No jury trials in juvenile court. Juvenile disposition chart is used. –Cell that juvenile falls into determines the disposition(s) authorized. –Judge has some discretion.

24 Disposition JUVENILE DISPOSITION CHART DELINQUENCY HISTORY LEVELS OFFENSE CLASSIFICATION LOW 0-1 points MEDIUM 2-3 points HIGH 4 + points VIOLENT A-E felonies Level 2 or 3 Level 3 Level 3 SERIOUS F-I felonies A1 misdemeanors Level 1 or 2 Level 2 Level 2 or 3 MINOR 1,2,3 misdemeanors Level 1 Level 1 or 2 Level 2

25 Commitment Commit to the Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Juvenile must be at least 10 years old. Commitments are for a minimum of 6 months.

26 Types of Commitments Indefinite commitment to a Youth Development Center. Term not to exceed the following: –To age 18 for juveniles committed for an F-I felony or any misdemeanor offense. –To age 19 for juveniles committed for a B1-E felony. –To age 21 for juveniles committed for 1 st degree murder, 1 st degree rape, 1 st degree sex offense.

27 Types of Commitments Definite commitment to YDC. –Term of 6 months up to 2 years. –Juvenile must meet certain criteria. Non-YDC commitment. –DJJDP can recommend that commitment services for a juvenile be provided in a program not located in a YDC.

28 Juvenile Expunction Record of a Class A – E Felony Adjudication cannot be expunged. –Can be used as aggravating factor at sentencing in criminal court.

29 Juvenile Expunction Adjudications for Class F-I felonies and misdemeanors can be expunged if: –Juvenile has reached the age of 18, and –At least 18 months have elapsed since person was released from juvenile court, and –Person has not subsequently had any adjudications or adult convictions (other than traffic).

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