CA Launches Multimedia Project on Negative Impact of Youth Prosecuted as Adults in NY

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(June 2, 2015, New York, NY)  Today, as juvenile justice advocates from across New York State gather in Albany to launch a robust final push urging lawmakers  and the Governor to raise the age of criminal responsibility this legislative session, the Correctional Association of New York (CA) has released “Facing Time: Facing Future,”a multimedia project comprised of portraits, videos and personal testimonials that poignantly reflect the negative impact of prosecuting children as adults.  Following a press conference in Albany organized by the Raise the Age NY Campaign, advocates will meet with legislators to stress the importance of coming together to pass  “raise the age” legislation before the session ends in June.

Currently, New York is one of only two states in the country that prosecutes all 16 and 17 year olds in the justice system as adults, with zero exceptions. In 2013, over 33,000 16-and 17-year-olds were arrested as adults in New York State. In New York State, 16 and 17-year-olds are confined in adult prisons and jails where they are in grave danger. Children in adult jails and prisons face very high rates of sexual assault and rape, physical assaults, attacks with weapons, and can, in some facilities, be held in solitary confinement for long periods of time. Children in adult jails are 36 percent more likely to commit suicide than children in youth detention facilities.

“Facing Time: Facing Future,” produced in collaboration with Emily Whitfield Communications, combines powerful images of those directly impacted by New York State’s policy with touching personal accounts by youth and others directly impacted by the prosecution of children as adults.

“New York State’s practice of prosecuting children as adults is bad public policy,” according to Gabrielle Horowitz-Prisco, director of the CA’s Juvenile Justice Project. “It increases crime and recidivism, wastes taxpayer money, and destroys children and families. “Facing Time: Facing Future” will help New Yorkers understand the very real and human impact of their state’s failed approach.”

Ismael Nazario, who as a youth was prosecuted as an adult, and is featured in both the videos and the booklet, said, “I am honored and grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of the “Facing Time: Facing Future” project. “ I was a teenager that was directly affected and impacted by the criminal justice system that arrests and prosecutes 16- and 17- year olds as adults. By being a part of this powerful movement, I hope the stories impact many, and change the minds of most so that teens will not be in adult jails and prisons.”

“Facing Time: Facing Future” is part of the CA’s broader campaign to Raise the Age in New York State. Learn more about the CA’s Raise the Age campaign here.