rta-girls

Raise the Age

Why raise the age?

All children have a right to safety and to access developmentally-appropriate services, programs, education, and treatment.  Compared to those who have been prosecuted as youth, young people who have been charged as adults have been shown to be more likely to commit future acts of violence and crime and return to prison. [1]  Moreover, adult prisons and jails are not even properly equipped to provide safety or services to children.

New York is behind

Over the last decade, many states, including nearby Connecticut, have successfully raised the age of criminal responsibility without overwhelming the courts or the youth justice system. Usually a leader in criminal justice reform, New York State is shamefully behind on this issue. This outdated law puts our children and our economy at risk.

What would raising the age do for our state?

  • Increase public safety
  • Limit dangers to youth
  • Provide healthier opportunities for our young people to grow and develop

Harsh Realities

Youth in adult jails are thirty-six times more likely to commit suicide than those in juvenile detention facilities.

Youth in adult facilities are fifty percent more likely to face an armed attack from another  incarcerated person, and twice as likely to face physical assault by staff than youth in juvenile facilities.

Youth housed in adult prisons face very high rates of sexual assault and rape. 

Youth in adult prisons and jails are often kept in solitary confinement for up to 23-hours a day, for months at a time. Extended isolation can be psychologically shattering for anyone, but it is especially harmful for developing adolescent minds.

 

 


[1] Juszkiewicz, J. (2007, October); To Punish A Few: Too Many Youth Caught in the Net of Adult Prosecution. Washington, D.C.: Campaign for Youth Justice citing Jeffrey Fagan, “The Comparative Advantage of Juvenile vs. Criminal court Sanctions on Recidivism Among Adolescent Felony Offenders,” Law and Policy , Vol. 18., Nos. 1& 2, January/April, 1996;

Angela McGowan et al., “Effects on Violence of Laws and Policies Facilitating the Transfer of Juveniles from the Juvenile Justice System to the Adult Justice System: A Systematic Review,”  Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report,  November 30, 2007 / Vol. 56 / No. RR-9, p. 10.
[2] Corriero, M.A. Judging Children as Children: Reclaiming New York’s Progressive Tradition, 56 N.Y.L. Sch. L. Rev. 1413, 1419 (2011–12);

Juszkiewicz, J. (2007, October); To Punish A Few: Too Many Youth Caught in the Net of Adult Prosecution. Washington, D.C.: Campaign for Youth Justice.