CA RESPONDS TO FAILURE OF NYS LAWMAKERS TO RAISE THE AGE

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Annette Warren-Dickerson, Communications Director
646-924-5244. adickerson@correctionalassociation.org

J. Soffiyah Elijah, Executive Director
617-905-7623, selijah@correctionalassociation.org

(June 23, 2015, New York, NY): Today, The Correctional Association of New York (CA) released the following statement in response to the failure of the New York State Legislature to pass Raise the Age legislation this session:

It is extremely disappointing that the Legislature and Governor did not come to an agreement to pass raise the age legislation this session, thereby failing to perform the most basic and vital role of protecting our children.

While we applaud the fact that the Governor plans to issue an Executive Order removing 16- and 17-year-olds from adult prisons and placing them in separate facilities run by the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision and the Office of Children and Family Services, much is left to be done. New York will remain one of only two states where 16- and 17-year-olds are automatically prosecuted in adult criminal court–a practice consistently proven to harm both young people and public safety. “These are among the very serious concerns considered and addressed by the Commission on Youth, Public Safety and Justice when it issued thirty-eight recommendations to the Governor in January,” said J. Soffiyah Elijah, former Co-Chair of the Commission and the CA’s Executive Director.

“I am dismayed that New York State did not raise the age of criminal responsibility and left over 33,000 youth annually subject to arrest and prosecution as adults,” said Angelo Pinto, Raise the Age Campaign Manager at the Correctional Association of New York. “Kalief Browder’s recent suicide illustrates how the adult criminal justice system destroys young people’s minds and bodies,” Pinto continued. “The Correctional Association will continue to work to change New York’s failed public policy of prosecuting children as adults.”

The Legislature must once and for all raise the age during the next legislative session. This is truly a sad day for New York’s young people and communities throughout the state.

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About the Correctional Association of New York: Founded in 1844, the Correctional Association of New York (CA) is an independent non-profit organization advocating for a more humane and effective criminal justice system and a more just and equitable society.