The Children's Alliance

Legislative Update 6/4 PDF Print Email

 

June 4, 2013

 

Raise the Age NC

Raise the Age North Carolina & Action for Children North Carolina

 

Legislative Update

Weeks ago the NC Senate referred two critical pieces of youth justice legislation to the Senate Judiciary II Committee: PREA Compliance (HB 585) and Criminal Law Procedures (HB 217).  PREA Compliance will be on the committee's agenda today at 10 am.

 

We encourage all of our allies to continue their outreach efforts to members of Senate Judiciary II. You will find contact information HERE. Below are some useful talking points:

SUPPORT PREA Compliance (HB 585)

  • North Carolina must comply with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) or risk losing vital criminal justice funding from the federal government.
  • The Youthful Offender PREA standards require states to give special attention to the safety and well-being of youth in ALL state and local corrections, holdover, and lockup facilities.
  • I urge you to support reinserting language in the bill that applies to local jails, which have to comply with the federal PREA standards.
  • HB 585 is instrumental in keeping youth safe in adult facilities by ensuring youth under 18 do not have sight or sound contact with adult inmates.

Click here for a fact sheet with additional information on HB 585.

OPPOSE Criminal Law Procedures (HB 217)

This bill still has life as it currently awaits a hearing in Judiciary II. Join NC's youth who have taken advocacy into their own hands! After a successful petition with Change.org that targeted the House members (over 800 signatures), NC youth have now started a MoveOn.org petition that targets Senators on the Senate Judiciary II Committee. PLEASE SIGN & SHARE this petition with your networks! Taking 30 seconds to sign this petition will automatically send a message to all 13 Senate Committee members. How easy is that?!

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/nc-senate-keep-youth

 

Additionally, please take the time to call or email legislators who sit on this committee and urge them to oppose section 4 of HB 217 legislation!

  • Remove Section 4, which takes away judicial discretion in these juvenile transfer cases.
  • Unchecked prosecution of children in adult court will result in MORE NC youth in the adult system.
  • Currently under North Carolina law, judges must consider whether probable cause exists that the youth committed the offense, and weigh the protection of the public and the best interests of the youth in determining whether to transfer the case to adult court.
  • Just by a written motion signed by the elected or appointed district attorney for the district, section 4 of HB 217 gives prosecutors sole discretion to prosecute youth 15 years old in the adult criminal court system and relinquishes juvenile court judges' discretion.
  • The bill moves NC in the opposite direction of research/data and what's best for our youth and communities.
  • Unbiased decision making by our impartial judges is what's best for our children and our communities.

Click here for a fact sheet with additional information on HB 217.

 

Raising the Age in North Carolina

The Youth Offenders Rehabilitation Act (HB 725) is expected to be heard in the House Judiciary A Subcommittee soon. With only weeks to go in this legislative session, be ready to jump into action!

 

Stay in the Know

If you would like to keep track of these pieces of legislation, you may do so through the NCGA's legislative calendar. Both the Senate Judiciary II and House Judiciary A subcommittees will be listed on this website when those meetings are scheduled.

 

Friday Conference Calls

Action for Children and the Covenant with North Carolina's Children hold Friday morning conference calls to update you on the week's happenings at the General Assembly. Updates include bills and budget actions. To join:

  • Fridays, 11 a.m.
  • Dial 1-800-582-3014 and enter passcode 882011141#
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