New York and North Carolina are the last states that still prosecute all 16- and 17-year-olds as adults in criminal court, but changes may be coming.
Both states are considering proposals to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 18.
Backers say the measures could save millions of dollars by providing rehabilitative services that young people need to keep from offending again. The proposal also would allow young offenders to avoid adult records that can affect their opportunities for housing, loans and higher education.
North Carolina is closer than ever to raising the age this year with first-time support from major law enforcement stakeholders. In New York, though, senators are so far gridlocked in technical and political squabbles.