N.C. Raise the Age Supporters Hope for Change in Law

David Johnson, an outreach worker with Bull City United, canvasses a Durham neighborhood in support of anti-violence initiatives. Johnson was charged with assault as an adult in 1998 when he was 17-years-old. He supports raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction so that 16- and 17-year olds in North Carolina don't automatically land in adult court. Photos by Sarah Barr

David Johnson was 16 years old when he faced his first criminal charge in a North Carolina court that considered him an adult.

He remembers being overwhelmed by the proceedings, uncertain of what it would mean to take a plea or to spend years in prison — and to end up with a permanent criminal record. After all, he says, he was just a kid . . .

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