Correctional Association Of New York Responds To 2016 State Of The State Address And Governor’s Criminal Justice Legislative Agenda

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Applauds Governor’s proposal to re-introduce bill to raise the age of criminal responsibility, commitment to youth justice reform, and addressing barriers to successful re-entry

(January 14, 2016, New York, NY): Today, the Correctional Association of New York (CA), the oldest criminal justice reform organization in the state, issued the following statement in response to the State of the State Address delivered yesterday by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo:

“We are encouraged that the Governor wants to continue to press for a comprehensive overhaul of the state’s youth justice system, including raising the age of criminal responsibility. Currently, New York is one of only two states that continue to prosecute 16- and17-year-olds as adults, exposing them to myriad harms and impeding their chances for a successful future. We are working hard with those who are directly affected, advocates, policymakers, and elected officials to end this practice and support our young people instead of destroying them.

We are further pleased that the Governor is emphasizing alternatives to incarceration (ATI) and that he wants to strengthen re-entry supports, recognizing  the critical role of employment opportunity, among other factors, in reducing the prison population. We appreciate that the Governor confronted the issue of the school-to-prison pipeline by focusing attention on poor-performing schools that fail our children and land them in prison.

This legislative session has the potential to be one of the most productive and game-changing in terms of affecting meaningful, smart and long lasting criminal justice reform.  We hope that our elected officials will agree and take advantage of the opportunity presented.”