North Carolina, Juvenile Court Jurisdiction, And The Resistance Of Reform

762 Words Aug 25th, 2015 4 Pages
In the North Carolina Law Review Association’s article, “North Carolina, juvenile court jurisdiction, and the resistance to reform,” author Tamar R. Birkhead presents a strong position that North Carolina has been resistant to change their juvenile court system. This is true despite evidence from various experts that it is necessary to do so. The history of the juvenile justice system also shows an evolving perspective concerning juvenile crime and the necessary approach to addressing it. Other states have made changes that progress with the available information on the topic, yet North Carolina remains in the minority of states who have not done so (Birkhead). Scientific evidence has shown that the brain of an adolescent has not completely developed (Birkhead). Considering this fact, it is recommended by Birkhead that the age jurisdiction of the juvenile court be raised to eighteen. The reasons cited for not doing so include lack of funding, the media’s sensationalism of juvenile crime, a punitive perspective insisting that juvenile delinquents be “held accountable” (Birkhead). The inconsistencies of what is defined as an “adult” is present in the judicial system in many areas. Age limits concerning military enlistment, the signing of contracts (i.e. marriage), smoking, voting, and committing crimes all vary. The acceptance of the scientific fact that the brain’s cortex, that controls reasoning power, does not reach full growth until the age of eighteen should be…

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