A look inside Mecklenburg County’s new juvenile-only jail

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MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — Giving teens charged with crimes a second chance: That’s the goal of a new juvenile-only jail in north Charlotte.   

This week, teenagers have been charged in two separate crimes. Tuesday morning, police say a teenage felon and a 17-year-old were arrested in a robbery spree and shooting in Ballantyne, and Wednesday, police announced they charged two 16-year olds in a series of armed robberies in Steele Creek.

The teens who were arrested will now go here to Mecklenburg County’s newly repurposed juvenile detention center.

There’s space for 72 in the new juvenile-only jail, they’ll have access to their family, take school classes, and learn vocational skills while they wait for their trial to start.

FOX 46 asked Sheriff Garry McFadden about the effectiveness of the new jail. 

“It’s going to be proof, I think it doesn’t happen overnight, give us time let’s see it working, this has only been in effect since December 1

The ‘Raise the Age’ legislation, which now prevents 16 and 17-year-olds who are arrested for crimes from being charged as adults will likely impact the number of juveniles in the jail, but McFadden believes it’s important to separate teen inmates from adults.

We’re not soft on crime, we’re housing teenagers, we’re housing kids.

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