CLOSE THE MEDICAID COVERAGE GAP (April 2021)
ELECTION INTEGRITY (Oct 2020)
OPPOSE POLICE VIOLENCE (Jul 2020)
IMPROVE MAIL IN VOTING (Jun 2020)
MEDICAID EXPANSION HB 1040 (May 2020)
MEDICAID EXPANSION (April 2020)
In committing to the work of becoming anti-racist, we know that confronting our failures will be difficult and painful. Guided by faith and grace, we are willing to accept this challenge and to do the necessary work.
FCNCL sends time-sensitive ACTION ALERTS on legislative issues related to our PRIORITIES. Read them here and take action. SIGN UP to receive alerts as they are issued.
TAKE ACTION BY MAY 14th.
READ OUR MAY 2021 ALERTS ON:
ELIMINATING CASH BAIL ON MINOR OFFENSES and
JUVENILE JUSTICE REFORM.
YOU’LL ALSO FIND LINKS TO OTHER RESOURCES
ELIMINATE CASH BAIL FOR LOW-LEVEL MISDEMEANORS (HB 210)
To All Participants in the Friends Committee on North Carolina Legislation:
As Quakers, we promote criminal justice reform led by the Quaker testimonies of Peace and Equality and in support of our FCNCL minute on anti-racism.
North Carolina HB210 eliminates cash bail for Class 2 and 3 misdemeanors (larceny, shoplifting, trespassing, no violent offenses) unless a risk to themselves or destroyed property (recommendation from Governor’s Task Force). Current cash bail laws for low level crimes seriously impact people without ability to pay who can be held for 60 days, potentially losing their jobs, custody of their children, etc. HB 210 has been assigned to the House Rules Committee.
ACTION REQUESTED: Please contact the legislators shown below prior to May 14, to ask them to hear this bill and vote to move it out of committee.
- The Governor’s Task Force on Racial Equity in the Criminal Justice System recommends elimination of cash bail for low level misdemeanors (https://ncdoj.gov/north-carolina-task-force-for-racial-equity-in-criminal-justice-releases-final-report/).
- See FCNCL Fact Sheet: Eliminate Cash Bail for Low Level Misdemeanors.
- Even short pretrial jail stays in jail pretrial can have destabilizing effects on an individual’s employment, health, and recidivism (Christopher T. Lowkenkamp, et al., The Hidden Costs of Pretrial Detention (2013) (Link here); Paul Heaton, et al., The Downstream Consequences of Misdemeanor Pretrial Detention, 69 Stanford Law Review 711,717–19, 737 (2017) (Link here ).
➜ Letters to the editor: Consider penning a letter to the editor to the Raleigh News and Observer)
For a PDF version of this alert click HERE.
For our FACT SHEET on Cash Bail Reform click HERE.
RAISE THE AGE THRESHOLD FOR JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM (HB 261)
ACTION: Email (Tim.Moore@ncleg.gov) or call (919-733-3451) Speaker Tim Moore (Republican, House Speaker), and Sarah Stevens (Sarah.Stevens@ncleg.gov) or call (919-715-1883), co-chair of the House Judiciary Committee 2. Ask that House Bill 261 be heard and voted on by committee. Also ask that the Bill simply raise the currently unacceptable threshold age of children for entry into the juvenile criminal justice system and ask for guidance to be included in the bill for evaluating the capacity for criminal action among 10-11 year olds.To find your representatives, use this link.
Please email your representatives and ask that they urge their colleagues on the Judiciary Committee to move HB261 out of committee for consideration by the full House.
Members should contact the legislators prior to May 14, to ask them to hear this bill and vote to move it out of committee.
Currently under North Carolina law, children as young as 6 years old may be tried for criminal offenses regardless of their ability to even understand or intend the consequences of their actions. North Carolina HB261 would propose 10 years of age as the new threshold for children to be tried for criminal offenses. While ideally no children under the age of 14, the international standard, should be in the criminal justice system, this bill would move North Carolina closer to that goal and place us more in line with most other states in the U.S.
WHAT ELSE SHOULD I KNOW:
- North Carolina has the lowest threshold age in the world – 6 years of age – for entry into juvenile delinquency court; internationally, the typical threshold age is 14 (See reference).
- During 2016-2018,1100 children under the age of 10 appeared in NC courts (See reference).
- The Governor’s Task Force on Racial Equity in the Criminal Justice System recommends that the threshold age be raised to 12 years of age ( See reference).
- In most countries, children under the age of 10 are considered too young to have criminal intent. (“Minimum Age for Delinquency Adjudication—Multi-Jurisdiction Survey – NJDC” (See Reference).
- Even in the United States, under civil law,
- Under age 7: A child generally cannot not be considered negligent.
- Between age 7 and 14: There is a rebuttable presumption that the child cannot be negligent.
- Between age 14 and 21: There is a rebuttable presumption that the child is capable of negligence.
- Sending children into the criminal justice system rather than providing services for them creates a criminal record, introducing them very early into the “school-to-prison pipeline.” This disproportionately affects children of color (See reference).
- Most of these children are reported by School Resource Officers (SROs). Please see the FCNCL Fact Sheet on School Resource Officers
➜ Letters to the editor: If you live in any of the areas represented by Judiciary 2 Committee members, consider penning a letter to the editor in papers in the greater Surry County, Wilmington area, Asheboro area, Banner Elk, or Greensboro or the Raleigh News and Observer
Our Quaker testimonies of Equality and Community lead us to advocate for antiracist policies and an equitable criminal justice system.
For a PDF version of this alert click here.