Spotlight on Juvenile Justice: The Political Landscape
The visions of leaders of key juvenile justice and child welfare agencies in New York are now more aligned with advocates’ agendas than at any other time in recent history. Since her 2007 appointment as Commissioner of the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS)—the state agency that operates juvenile prisons—Gladys Carrión has persistently addressed the system’s entrenched problems, such as high recidivism rates and the disproportionate confinement of youth of color, and has worked closely with JJP and other advocates to develop an ambitious reform agenda. Vincent Schiraldi, the new Commissioner of the NYC Department of Probation, has likewise called for sweeping changes in the treatment of youth caught up in the system. Both leaders have demonstrated a commitment to advancing more therapeutic, less punitive models of juvenile justice, greater use of evidence based alternative programs, and placements closer to young people’s communities.
Experience has shown us it is a serious mistake to de-emphasize the role of the advocacy community in times of progressive reform. Strong advocates like the CA are crucial to maintaining accountability and transparency and to making certain that government advances and implements the right reforms. Additionally, even the most reform-minded government officials are limited by the scope of their individual roles, budgetary realities and the larger political context in which they work. And while the current administration is reform-minded, an over-reliance on individual government officials can eventually backfire if political winds shift.
CA Applauds Commitment to Raise the Age in Governor Cuomo’s State of the State Address, Laments No Mention of Racism, Violence, and Abuse in NYS Prisons
(January 9, 2016) New York, NY: The Correctional Association of New York roundly applauds the continued commitment of Governor Andrew Cuomo to raising the age of criminal responsibility in New York, ending the prosecution and incarceration of 16- and 17-year-olds as adults. It is now up to the members of both parties in the NYS Legislature to do their duty to make this a reality. In spite of the Governor’s assertion that the "nation looks to NY to find a way up," we actually fall behind 48 other states, along with North Carolina, by continuing to treat children as adults in the criminal legal system. New York must Raise the Age of criminal responsibility this legislative session. Read More
In New York State, 16 and 17-year-olds arrested or detained can be sent to adult prisons and jails. Despite multiple studies that show a teenager’s brain functions are not fully developed, our state insists on charging young people like adults, creating a generation of over-incarcerated youth in New York. We sat down to speak with [...]Read More
Prison Monitoring Reports
Attica Correctional Facility, a 2,000-bed maximum security prison in western New York, continues to operate as a symbolic and real epicenter of state violence and abuse of incarcerated persons in the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) state prison system 43 years after the 1971 prison uprising and violent suppression by state authorities. The [...]Read More
Gabrielle Horowitz-Prisco, director of the Correctional Association's Juvenile Justice Project, testified before the New York State Legislature on the Governor’s proposed budget for 2013-2014.Read More