You see the headlines on the news at night of teens committing crimes. While they're actually committing fewer crimes, the ones they are involved in are more severe.
Defense attorney Earl Brown from Pitt County says he's handled juvenile cases for kids as young as 8 years-old. Brown says, "We have young people who are encouraged to do badder things by older people who really don't care."
In the 2006 annual juvenile report, 29 offenses committed by juveniles went to adult court in Pitt County. In 2007 that increased to 49.
One man who spent 10 years behind bars for indecent liberties with a minor, selling drugs and eluding police when he was a teen says he learned his lesson in jail and wants to warn teens who think going to jail is nothing. He says, "It's going to be hard for them to survive in there. The best thing for them to do is stay out of trouble. Stay in school."
There are various programs designed to help troubled kids before they get caught up in more serious crime. One is the mediation center in Pitt County where they work with teens who get minor infractions. Kathryn Lennox-Lloyd is the director of center. She says, "We're finding through the resolve it program that the youth that we serve when we check back in with them through the juvenile justice system over 85 percent have not had any further involvement."
It's hoped programs like the Meditation Center can help reverse the trend of juveniles committing adult crimes.