CA Launches Online Video Campaign Urging Governor, Assembly and Senate Heads to Keep “Raise the Age” Bill in Budget
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Annette Warren-Dickerson, Communications Director
212-254-5700 ext. 332
Angelo Pinto, Raise the Age Campaign Manager
CORRECTIONAL ASSOCIATION OF NY LAUNCHES FIRST WAVE OF VIDEO CAMPAIGN
URGING NYS ELECTEDS TO “RAISE THE AGE” NOW
Video campaign aimed at getting Governor Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Flanagan
& Assembly Speaker Heastie to keep “Raise the Age” bill in the budget
(March 23, 2016, New York, NY): Today, the Correctional Association of New York (CA) launched an online video campaign aimed at pressuring lawmakers to raise the age of criminal responsibility. The release of the videos, which range from 15 to 90 seconds in length, is timed to coincide with the intense budget discussions currently taking place in Albany, as the April 1 deadline looms over the process.
Each video ends with a call to action asking New Yorkers to call the Governor, Flanagan and Heastie and urge them to keep the “raise the age” bill in the budget. The videos will be posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube and viewers will be asked to share them after taking action, using the hashtag#RaisetheAgeNY.
New York remains one of only two states – along with North Carolina — that continues to treat 16-and 17-year olds as adults in the criminal justice system. These youth are at an extreme risk of being physically, sexually and mentally abused, and are 36% more likely to commit suicide in an adult facility. Among those featured in the videos is Akeem Browder, the brother of Kalief Browder, who, after being arrested at 16 as an adult, was held at Rikers Island for three years, most of that time in solitary confinement, and subjected to abuse and starvation. Kalief attempted suicide several times while being held. He was never charged with a crime and was released in 2013. Kalief committed suicide in 2015.
The participants in the video present compelling reasons for raising the age, including proven science about brain development in youth and its impact on behavior; the wisdom of public policy that provides developmentally- and age-appropriate therapeutic settings and services as alternatives to locking kids up; and the overall benefit to public safety as a result of reductions in youth crime, and fiscal savings — two outcomes experienced by other states that have adopted the policy. The videos also include touching personal stories about the abuses and risks youth face when incarcerated, and how important it is to give kids a second chance.
The videos intersperse interviews with directly affected young people and their families with policymakers, state and national elected officials, and others who support the change in the law. Among several additional people appearing in the videos are Congresswoman Kathleen Rice, in 2005 the first woman elected District Attorney in the history of Long Island and sworn into Congress earlier this year, and Assemblyman Mike Blake of the Bronx. Soffiyah Elijah, Executive Director of the CA, and Angelo Pinto, Campaign Manager of the CA’s Raise the Age Campaign, are also featured in the video project.
View the first of the videos here.
To learn more about the Raise the Age Campaign, go to http://www.correctionalassociation.org/cmp/raise-the-age-home-page
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