We believe that an evidence and community-based juvenile justice system is the best system to serve high-need youth under 18. To develop this system in South Carolina, we, the community, the Department of Juvenile Justice, law enforcement, advocates, legislators, and other government officials, must work collaboratively to transform the juvenile justice system, increase public safety, and appropriately serve our youth.
Raise the Age is a campaign that supports raising the age of criminal responsibility to 18 for youth throughout the country to improve outcomes both for them and public safety. In states that have raised the age, children accused of certain crimes can still be charged as adults by being transferred into the adult criminal justice system. Raise the Age does not ensure that all youth under 18 stay in the juvenile justice system, but requires at least that the majority start in this age-appropriate system.
“Raise the Age” has proven to be good fiscal and public safety policy. Concerns about large numbers of older juveniles and their associated costs straining juvenile justice systems have not come to pass, and juvenile crime has continued to decline. Seven states have implemented “Raise the Age” in recent years; four have been able to collect impact data.
Join the Movement! Sign up for the Raise the Age SC Coalition here!