IN BRIEF: Why it’s time to raise the age in New York
Over fifty years ago, as New York State’s legislators created the Family Court, they discussed whether to raise the age at which young people could be tried as adults. Unable to reach consensus, the lawmakers of that era left the age of criminal responsibility at 16. A legislative committee emphasized that the decision was “tentative and subject to change” and urged further study, which did not happen.
It is now past time to revisit that tragic decision. New York State must end the shameful practice of prosecuting children in adult courts and locking children up in adult jails and prisons. We cannot afford any more delay– the lives of children and the safety of communities hang in the balance.
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
New York remains one of only 2 states in the nation treating 16 and 17 year-olds as something they are not — adults— in our criminal justice system. This archaic approach increases the likelihood of more crime, more severe crime, and seriously damages the education, employment and long-term life prospects of our youth, particularly the [...]Read More