The History of the Raise the Age Campaign

History of legislation: During the 2008 legislative session, Action for Children and its partners advocated for the development of a comprehensive plan to phase 16- and 17-year-old children into the juvenile justice system with adequate resources so that they can receive a developmentally appropriate, research-based continuum of services. The 2008-09 state budget allocated $200,000 for the Governor's Crime Commission to study this issue.

During the 2009 legislative session, Action for Children and partners continued our work on HB 1414 (Youth Accountability Act) to bring 16- and 17-year-olds into the juvenile justice system. The Youth Accountability Act was not passed this session; however, the task force portion of the bill was included in the 2009-2010 budget as a special provision.


The final 2009-10 budget established the Youth Accountability Planning Task Force, a group of legislators, juvenile justice department officials and judicial representatives who have been working for 18 months to create an implementation plan for moving youth from the adult system to the juvenile system. The task force recommended in January 2011 that youth under age 18 accused of minor crimes should be handled in the juvenile justice system, while 16- and 17-year-olds accused of serious felonies should remain in the adult system. The Task Force's final report is available on the Action for Chilren website. For more information on the Youth Accountability Task Force, please visit


In January 2011, Governor Perdue issued an executive order extending the Youth Accountability and Planning Task Force until 2012 so that the group can continue their work. Bipartisan bills to raise the age were filed in both the House and Senate during the 2011 session of the General Assembly: HB 632 and SB 506.  Thanks to the work of our legislative sponsors, Raise the Age will be heard, in May 2012.


(Text originally from the Action for Children webpage)