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RALEIGH — The North Carolina House of Representatives today voted 104-8 to approve a bill that would raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction to 18 for most offenses. North Carolina is the only remaining state in the nation that automatically charges all 16- and 17-year- olds as adults, regardless of the crime.

“Sending kids into the adult criminal justice system puts their safety and future at risk and harms North Carolina’s communities in countless ways,” said Susanna Birdsong, Policy Counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina. “This bipartisan House vote is a hugely important step toward fixing this injustice that now exists only in North Carolina. We stand with a broad coalition of North Carolinians in urging the Senate and Governor Cooper to pass this much-needed measure into law and finally do the right thing for North Carolina and its young people.”

House Bill 280 – which has received support from Republican and Democratic leadership, as well as children’s advocates and law enforcement groups – would raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction for misdemeanors and low-level felonies, meaning that 16- and 17-year-olds charged with those offenses would be redirected to the state’s juvenile justice system. The bill’s language was based on a series of recommendations made by a commissioned chaired by North Carolina Chief Justice Mark Martin, who has endorsed the proposal. Senate Leader Phil Berger has also said the issue is a high priority for the state Senate.

WINSTON-SALEM, NC – A federal court has scheduled the trial in a legal challenge to North Carolina’s sweeping anti-LGBT law, House Bill 2, to begin on Monday, November 14.

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Schroeder is holding arguments on Monday, August 1, on a motion for a preliminary injunction that asks the court to stop the enforcement of the provisions of the law that target transgender people for discrimination in single-sex facilities.

During the full trial, the court will also consider challenges to sections of HB2 that prohibit local municipalities from extending nondiscrimination protections to LGBT people.

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WINSTON-SALEM, NC – U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Schroeder will hear arguments on Monday, August 1, on a motion for a preliminary injunction that asks the court to block the provisions of North Carolina’s House Bill 2 that target transgender people for discrimination in single-sex facilities while a legal challenge proceeds through the court system.

The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of North Carolina, Lambda Legal and the law firm of Jenner & Block are representing six LGBT North Carolinians and members of the ACLU of North Carolina in their federal court challenge to House Bill 2.

“Every day that House Bill 2 remains on the books, transgender North Carolinians suffer irreparable harm at work, in school, and in other public places, simply because they want to use public facilities safely just like everyone else but this hateful law prevents them from doing so,” the groups said in a joint statement. “We are glad our clients will finally have their day in court, and we hope that this discriminatory law’s days are numbered.”

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RALEIGH – The North Carolina Department of Public Safety yesterday announced plans to end the practice of placing youthful offenders in solitary confinement by September 2016. North Carolina is one of two states in the country that still charges 16 and 17 year olds as adults and places them in adult correctional facilities.

As of June 7, there were 67 children under the age of 18 in North Carolina prisons, 16 of which were segregated from the general population in some form of solitary confinement. Earlier this year, the Obama administration announced that it would end the solitary confinement of juveniles in federal prisons.

In 2015, a coalition of human rights organizations sent a letter asking the United States Department of Justice to open an investigation into the use of solitary confinement in North Carolina prisons.

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