Raise the Age: Criminal Justice Reform

TOP Raise the Age: Criminal Justice Reform

Raise the Age

Improving the Way New York's Justice System Treats Young People

With the passage of the FY 2018 State Budget, New York State has ended a decade-long injustice by raising the age of criminal responsibility, ensuring that 16- and 17-year-olds who commit non-violent crimes are processed as juveniles in the State’s justice system. New York was previously one of only two states in the nation that automatically processed all 16- and 17-year-olds as adults.

As part of the budget agreement, young people will now receive the intervention and evidence-based treatment they need and will no longer be permitted to be housed in adult facilities or jails.

The state will also create a Raise the Age implementation task force, with committee members designated by the Governor. Additionally, individuals who have been crime free for ten years after serving a sentence will be able to apply for the sealing of previous criminal convictions.

Providing young people with age-appropriate facilities and rehabilitation will restore hope and promise - helping them turn their lives around to build a better future for themselves, their families and for our great state.

Raise the Age

Age of Criminal Responsibility Raised to 18-years-old

All 16- and 17-year-olds who commit non-violent crimes will receive the intervention and evidence-based treatment they need.

Specialized Juvenile Detention Facilities

No longer permitted to be housed in adult facilities or jails, young people will be placed in specialized juvenile detention facilities certified by the NYC Administration for Children’s Services and the NYS Office of Children and Family Services, in conjunction with the NYS Commission of Correction and the NYC Department of Corrections.

Phased-In Process

New measures will raise the age of juvenile delinquency from 16- to 17-years old beginning October 1, 2018, and subsequently raise the age of criminal responsibility to 18-years-old on October 1, 2019.

Raise the Age

Law enforcement, local leaders and advocates express support for the Governor's plan to improve how New York's justice system treats young people.

Progress

What People Are Saying

Families Together in New York State CEO

Paige Pierce

Read Quote

I have dedicated my career to serving some of our most vulnerable citizens, connecting them with community-based supports, and advancing sound social welfare policies in response to family identified needs. We cannot stand by and continue to hear the many horrifying accounts of children falling through the cracks, many of which, have been the result of an interaction with our criminal justice system.

Paige Pierce

Albany County Sheriff

Craig Apple

Read Quote

My colleagues in law enforcement and I know that these are critical reforms that will make New York a leader when it comes to criminal justice and public safety. Under the current systems, experiences in prison and collateral consequences after release make it more likely that young people will re-offend, and commit more serious crimes, in the future. It’s not good for youth and it’s not good for the broader public.

Craig Apple

Preparing Leaders of Tomorrow (PLOT) Co-Founder

Jim Saint German

Read Quote

I was given an opportunity for rehabilitation because I was in a juvenile setting. I took advantage of that opportunity and reset my course. I am now a graduate student at New York University. My path, like so many others I know, would have been very different had I been sent to an adult facility.

Jim Saint German

New York City Police Officer and PLOT affiliate

Edwin Raymond

Read Quote

As a member of law enforcement, we have a duty to protect the community. It is disheartening to send youth into the adult system knowing that they will likely come out worse than when I found them. Having grown up in this community, I know firsthand the difficult lives that youth face. I see myself in these young men and women. If we want communities to be safer, we need to give them the supports they need to turn their lives around.

Edwin Raymond

What Other People are Saying

What Other People are Saying