N.C. House advances bill to keep youngest kids out of court

Published: Apr. 1, 2021 at 9:37 AM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina state lawmakers have advanced a bill that would prevent 6- to 9-year-olds from having to appear before a judge for juvenile justice proceedings if they’re in trouble with the law.

Advocates says young kids shouldn’t be subject to what they describe as a potentially traumatizing process.

The bipartisan proposal approved by a committee Wednesday would have younger kids pivot from court proceedings to a child consultation process.

Families that don’t ensure their children receive needed treatment and services would be referred to their local social services department.

A similar Senate proposal unanimously passed that chamber last week.

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