CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- North Carolina's juvenile crime rate has fallen to it’s lowest rate since the state began collecting teen crime data, according to a new report from the state’s Department of Public Safety.
A June 2019 state study from the North Carolina Juvenile Justice Central Office shows the rate has fallen by 41 percent since 2010.
Most teen crimes are now are deemed non-violent, like larceny, making threats and truancy.
Mecklenburg County diversion program leaders say they have $1.4 million in state dollars it gives to nonprofits who work with court-involved teens.
Experts say the programs help teach teens critical lessons about conflict resolution.
“I was amazed in how I did not come across this without the caveat of my children getting in trouble," mom Aloma Bryson says. She went through the county's "Strengthening Families" program when her son got in trouble at school.
"If I had this packet of information about things to have when they were born, [...] I probably would’ve avoided a whole lot of missteps as parents," she says.
"It’s eye-opening to talk to some of the juveniles," says Terri Stowers, Mecklenburg Co. Juvenile Crime Prevention Council Chair. "The exposure to social media, the immediacy to things and things can escalate.”
The study shows the number of teens headed to detention centers is down by 62 percent.
The study also found:
- The annual number of school-based complaints have dropped 35%, though the percentage of school-based complaints versus non-school-based complaints has held steady, at 44%
- The number of children admitted to juvenile detention centers has decreased by 62%; and
- The number of children committed to youth development centers has gone down by 46%.
The county’s juvenile crime prevention council says it’s always looking to fund new non-profits that help teens avoid the justice system. You can apply here: https://www.mecknc.gov/CriminalJusticeServices/Pages/JCPC.aspx