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Legislation on Task Force

Special Provision 2009

ESTABLISH YOUTH ACCOUNTABILITY PLANNING TASK FORCESECTION 18.9.(a) Task Force Established. – There is established within the Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention the Youth Accountability Planning Task Force. The Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention shall provide professional and clerical staff and other services and supplies, including meeting space, as needed for the Task Force to carry out its duties in an effective manner.

SECTION 18.9.(b) Membership. – The Task Force shall consist of 21 members. The following members or their designees shall serve as ex officio members:

(1) The Secretary of the Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

(2) The Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts.

(3) The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

(4) The Secretary of the Department of Correction.

(5) The Secretary of the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety.

(6) The Superintendent of Public Instruction.

(7) The Secretary of the Department of Administration, or a designee having knowledge of programs and services for youth and young adults.

(8) The Juvenile Defender in the Office of Indigent Defense.

(9) One representative from the Governor's Crime Commission, appointed by the Governor.

(10) One representative from the North Carolina Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission, appointed by the Governor.

The remaining members shall be appointed as follows:

(11) Three members of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

(12) Three members of the Senate appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate.

(13) Two chief court counselors, appointed by the Governor, one to be from a rural county and one from an urban county.

(14) One present or former chief district court judge or superior court judge appointed by the Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court.

(15) One police chief appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate.

(16) One district attorney appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Appointments to the Task Force shall be made no later than October 1, 2009. A vacancy in the Task Force or a vacancy as chair of the Task Force resulting from the resignation of a member or otherwise shall be filled in the same manner in which the original appointment was made.

SECTION 18.9.(c) Chair; Meetings. – The President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall each designate one member to serve as cochair of the Task Force. The cochairs shall call the initial meeting of the Task Force on or before November 1, 2009. The Task Force shall subsequently meet upon such notice and in such manner as its members determine. A majority of the members of the Task Force shall constitute a quorum.

SECTION 18.9.(d) The Office of the Governor shall provide staff to the Task Force at the request of the Task Force.

SECTION 18.9.(e) Cooperation by Government Agencies. – The Task Force may call upon any department, agency, institution, or officer of the State or any political subdivision thereof for facilities, data, or other assistance.

SECTION 18.9.(f) Duties of Task Force. – The Task Force shall determine whether the State should amend the laws concerning persons 16 and 17 years of age who commit crimes or infractions, including a determination of whether the Juvenile Code or the Criminal Procedure Act should be revised to provide appropriate sanctions, services, and treatment for those offenders and a study of expanding the jurisdiction of the Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to include persons 16 and 17 years of age who commit crimes or infractions. As part of its study, the Task Force shall also develop an implementation plan that may be used if it is determined that it is appropriate to expand the jurisdiction of the Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to include persons 16 and 17 years of age who commit crimes or infractions.

In particular, the Task Force shall consider all of the following:

(1) The costs to the State court system and State and local law enforcement.

(2) The relevant State laws that should be conformed or amended as a result of revising the definition of delinquent juvenile to include 16- and 17-year-old persons, including the motor vehicle and criminal laws, the laws regarding expunction of criminal records, and other juvenile laws. The Task Force shall make recommendations to the General Assembly regarding proposed legislative amendments.

(3) Proposals to eliminate the racial disparity in complaints, commitments, community program availability, utilization and success rates, and other key decision and impact points in the juvenile justice process.

(4) Proposals regarding community programs that would provide rehabilitative services to juveniles in a treatment-oriented environment and incorporate best practices as recommended in subdivision (3) of this subsection.

(5) The total cost of expanding the jurisdiction of the Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to include persons who are 16 and 17 years of age who commit crimes or infractions under State law or under an ordinance of local government.

(6) The implications of revising the definition of delinquent juvenile to include 16- and 17-year-olds, as it relates to other laws based on age, including laws requiring school attendance and drivers' license laws.

(7) Whether standards should be established for determining when a juvenile should be transferred to superior court, including whether there should be presumptions that certain offenses should or should not result in a transfer to superior court.

(8) Whether a 16- or 17-year-old who is alleged to have committed a felony motor vehicle offense should be considered a juvenile or an adult.

(9) Any other related issues that the Task Force considers necessary.

SECTION 18.9.(g) Consultation. – The Task Force shall consult with appropriate State departments, agencies, and board representatives on issues related to juvenile justice administration.

SECTION 18.9.(h) Report. – The Task Force shall submit an interim report to the 2010 Regular Session of the 2009 General Assembly, with copies to the Joint Legislative Corrections, Crime Control, and Juvenile Justice Oversight Committee and to the Appropriations Subcommittees on Justice and Public Safety of both houses and shall submit a final report of its findings and recommendations, including legislative, administrative, and funding recommendations, by January 15, 2011, to the General Assembly, the Governor, and the citizens of the State. The Task Force shall terminate upon filing its final report.

SECTION 18.9.(i) Funding. – The Task Force may apply for, receive, and accept grants of non-State funds or other contributions as appropriate to assist in the performance of its duties. The Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention may also use funds appropriated to it to carry out the study and devise the implementation plan.