RALEIGH (AP) -- North Carolina is one of only three states that treats 16-year-olds as adults in the criminal justice system, but child advocates argue the age should be 18. A new report released Thursday concluded that national and state data, along with brain development research, shows that crime increases when youth are treated as adults. The report cites a study that found youth handled in the adult court system were almost 34 percent more likely to be arrested again than youth handled in the juvenile justice system. That study was published in April by a task force affiliated with the Centers for Disease Control. The issue has split state lawmakers. Supporters of the current law say it helps crime victims and cite the underfunded juvenile court system. (Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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