16 and 17 Year Olds Left Hanging
As the legislative session comes to a close, New York’s 16 and 17 year olds remain in the adult criminal system — a system completely inadequate for their needs. Why? Legislators could not come to an agreement on raising the age.
In spite of many throughout the state who wrote, rallied, called, tweeted, and spoke with elected officials.
In spite of the science and research that shows that incarcerating young people as adults is harmful to both the young people and to society.
In spite of the Commission that invested nearly a year in study and research to develop sensible recommendations for reform.
In spite of a commitment from Governor Cuomo to get it done this year!
In spite of the recent deaths of Kalief Browder and Kenan Davis!
New York has failed its young people.
We are dismayed that our elected officials did not prioritize the needs of youth in the closing days of the session. While Governor Cuomo plans to use his executive authority to remove 16 and 17 year olds from adult prisons, a change in housing is insufficient. That is not #RaisetheAge.
Our state remains one of only two that treat 16 and 17 year olds as adults in the justice system. This is a disgrace.
WCA remains committed to making sure Raise the Age legislation is put in place. We will not stop until 16 and 17 year olds are treated in an age-appropriate manner in New York’s justice system.
Thank you for your dedicated efforts up until this point, and we hope you will continue to work with us on behalf of youth.