Adult Criminal Justice System Of North Carolina

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Under North Carolina’s General Statute 7B 1604a, any juvenile who commits a criminal offense on or after the juvenile 's sixteenth birthday is subject to prosecution as an adult (“Limitations”). North Carolina remains one of only two states in America that automatically prosecutes all 16- and 17-year-olds in the adult criminal justice system regardless of the severity of the crime they commit; punishments served to students involved in something as trivial as fist-fight in a local high school cafeteria can prove alarmingly consequential. Charges of assault and battery pressed against any juvenile involved could stick with the adolescent and leave him with permanent criminal record without recourse for the charge to be sent back down to juvenile court. Treating adolescents and adults as one entity creates issues because adolescents differ significantly from adults in their capacity to make sound decisions. Studies clearly illustrate the brain is still constructing pieces of decision-making and behavior throughout adolescent years and lack the ability to fixate on the consequences of their behavior. These vulnerabilities cultivate impulsive reactions and cloud judgment choices. Because of this, teens benefit more from the juvenile system which focuses on punishment and treatment, unlike adult court which concentrates on punishment and incarceration (Toshumba). As a result of incomplete brain development, characteristics including personality, temperament, mentality, and
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