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Congratulations to New York on Raising The Age

Posted in 2017 Press Releases

April 10, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Campaign for Youth Justice (CFYJ) welcomes the news that legislation to Raise the Age of criminal responsibility in New York from 16 to 18 has been passed as part of NY’s Executive Budget. Governor Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Heastie, and Senate Majority Leader Flanagan, worked extended hours to ensure that raise the age passed as part of the Executive Budget.

“This legislation will keep more young people out of the dangerous adult criminal justice system," said Marcy Mistrett, CEO at the Campaign for Youth Justice. “It will also lead to better outcomes for public safety, as children who retain access to the educational and rehabilitative programs of the juvenile justice system are known to have significantly lower rates of recidivism than those who are tried and punished as adults. Given the presumption of family court origination for the vast majority of youth, the removal of youth from adult facilities, and the youth-part that allows case by case review, this is one of the strongest raise the age bills passed to date.”

The Campaign for Youth Justice congratulates the hundreds of advocates across the state who organized the efforts to ensure this remained one of the Governor’s priorities, including the tenacious leadership from the Children’s Defense Fund, the Citizens Committee for Children and the Correctional Association of New York.

New York looks to join the growing list of states that have embraced this common-sense reform, which includes Connecticut, Massachusetts, Illinois, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Louisiana, and South Carolina.  Missouri, and Texas already have similar legislation pending this year.  They are joined by North Carolina, which is the only state left who sets 16 as the age of criminal responsibility.

As a recent report published by the Justice Policy Institute makes clear, states that have implemented Raise the Age legislation have seen juvenile crime rates fall, while feared costs have failed to materialize. CFYJ commends New York state legislative leadership, Speaker Flanagan, and Governor Cuomo for this achievement. There is a reason this reform has gained such traction across party lines and in all parts of the country. It is good for youth, good for public safety, and it works.


About the Campaign For Youth Justice:
The Campaign for Youth Justice (CFYJ) is a national initiative focused entirely on ending the practice of prosecuting, sentencing, and incarcerating youth under the age of 18 in the adult criminal justice system.


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