The founder of CharMeck Court Watch opposes a bill that could raise the age set for juveniles from 16 to 18 years old.
CMCW enlists volunteers who monitor court cases and criminal records of repeat offenders who have histories of violent behaviors.
Marcus Philemon said House Bill 725 is a watered-down version of an older bill -- Senate Bill 434 -- where offenders younger than 18 would have records sealed for misdemeanors and non-violent felonies.
The new bill, known informally as the “Young Offenders Rehabilitation Act,” would increase the age of juvenile jurisdiction for 16- and 17-year-old offenders to age 18. If the legislation passes, court records of these offenders would be sealed from law enforcement, prosecutors, judges and the public.
North Carolina and New York are the only states where a 16-year-old is treated as an adult in the criminal justice system.
According to Philemon, his volunteers have spent thousands of hours monitoring these cases. He says changing the law will not be holding youthful and often dangerous offenders accountable for their crimes.
The bill is scheduled to go before the House Judiciary Subcommittee A on Wednesday morning.