North Carolina is the only state to prosecute all 16 and 17 year olds charged with criminal offenses in the adult criminal system. These criminal records can have severe collateral consequences, especially for youth of color, while also having a grave fiscal impact on individuals, families and communities. The Durham County Misdemeanor Program (MDP) is a 90 day diversion program that seeks to avoid a first arrest for many low-risk youth in Durham County, keeping youth out of the adult criminal system. In lieu of formal court processing, an incident report (IR) program has been initiated and eligible youth are referred by law enforcement to MDP. If the youth successfully completes Diversion Court and the community diversion program, the youth is released from without having an arrest record or adult criminal history.
From 2014 to March 2016, there have been 165 admissions to MDP and 136 exits.
98% of exits were successful completions.
A story about Tina....
Tina was referred to the MDP for a misdemeanor larceny incident from school, stealing a soda. She was an honor roll student, in student government, and played basketball at her school. Following graduating from MDP, Tina will be attending college this fall on an academic scholarship – something she could not have done with an adult arrest record.