Support grows for keeping teens out of NY prisons
Support appears to be growing in Albany, N.Y., for legislation that would keep teenagers out of New York’s adult prisons.
Governor Andrew Cuomo backed the “Raise the Age” campaign. Now, Assembly speaker Carl Heastie, one of the state’s most powerful Democrats, has signed on, along with a growing number of police and prosecutors.
They are responding, in part, to the stories of young people like Charles Nunez. He was 17 years old when he was arrested for carrying a handgun that he said he was trying to sell in Harlem. Nunez was sent to Rikers Island, New York City’s adult prison where he said he was quickly targeted by other inmates. “One night when we were locking in to go to sleep, some dude just like hit me while I was walking toward my cell while they were doing count,” Nunez recalled. “He basically just kind of knocked me out, because I like blacked out.” Nunez said he found himself forced to fight again and again — one group of inmate wanted to steal his boots. Others wanted to take his commissary money.
Anjelique Waddington turned her life around after being sentenced to adult prison at the age of 17. She became a leading advocate for reform.
Anjelique Waddington told a similar story. She was seventeen when she got busted for selling drugs and spent the next year and a half in state women’s prisons, often housed side-by-side with adults. “I had to become violent, I had to become evil,” she said. “I had to become an inmate. I became a statistic, what they wanted me to become [in] the system.” Read the entire article by Brian Mann here.
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
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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
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