We’ve all had that moment. We walk into a bookstore, only to browse, not to buy, but then we come across that one book with that story or nugget of wisdom that intrigues us so much we have to leave with it…
Juvenile Defender Eric Zogry had one of many moments like that for himself not too long ago, but the book he left Book Planet with contained a piece of little-known history that echoes much of the language we are using now… in the Juvenile Jurisdiction Reinvestment Act. Zogry found a copy of Public Laws of North Carolina: Session 1915. This single volume of all public laws passed contains a chapter dedicated to juvenile delinquency and custody.
In regards to juvenile jurisdiction, the book states several times that the law, which is referred to in other places as the “Probation Courts Act”, “applies to children eighteen years of age and under.” We’re emphasizing this section, noting that, at least for a few years, juvenile jurisdiction included 18-year-olds, not just 16- and 17-year-olds. It also states these children “may be arrested, but without imprisonment with hardened criminals.” However, there is one piece included that says children cannot be placed in any jail or prison enclosure where they “will be the companion of older and more hardened criminals, except where the charge is for a capital or other felony, or where the child is a known incorrigible or habitual offender.” The older law does emphasize proper placements, such as a suitable county or State training school or a proper private homes, and probation and bail. Of course, the new Raise the Age legislation also allows exceptions for placement of older kids who commit higher level offenses, but there is a push for more diversion programs as well.
This law, which precedes our upcoming implementation Raise the Age, was repealed in 1919, but it is interesting to see things come full circle, right back to where we started over a hundred years ago. And it’s also interesting that even in the digital age, you can still find something fascinating that you didn’t realize you wanted at the local bookstore.
You can read the transcription of the Probation Courts Act here on our website at the bottom of the Raise the Age page and also find a PDF copy of Public Laws of North Carolina: Session 1915 on the State Library of North Carolina website.
The Council for Children’s Rights is seeking to hire a full-time juvenile defense attorney for its Children’s Defense Team. The juvenile defense attorney will primarily represent children in the Mecklenburg County Juvenile Court. To apply, please submit a resume and cover letter here by Tuesday, Oct. 16.
On Thursday, Oct. 18, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., the North Carolina Advocates for Justice Juvenile Defense Section in collaboration with the Office of the Juvenile Defender will be hosting a CLE in Asheville, N.C. at the Lexington Brewery. This CLE will have presentations from IDS Regional Defender Valerie Pearce, discussing the ethical obligations to representing youth following the full implementation of Raise the Age, and Assistant Juvenile Defender Kim Howes, discussing strategies for utilizing resources and advocating for the best results for clients to set them up for success. One CLE credit hour in ethics and one general CLE credit hour for this course are currently pending with the Bar. A sidebar social will also be held at the same location at 5:30 p.m. You do not need to be a member of NCAJ to attend this CLE. Everyone can attend for free and pay their CLE credit fees directly to the Bar. To RSVP, please contact Valerie Pearce by email here or call 919-667-3369.
On Nov. 16, the UNC School of Government will be hosting a Back to School CLE from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. The training offers 6.25 hours of CLE credit, including an hour of ethics and an optional hour of substance abuse credit. Topics will include civil and criminal case law and legislative updates, the opioid epidemic, and a review and preview of the U.S. Supreme Court. Registration will be $300 and the deadline to register will be Oct. 31. Lunch will be provided. To register please visit the UNC SOG site here.
That is all there is this time around. Happy Friday, thanks for reading and have a great weekend!
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