“New Yorkers from every corner of this state will converge in Albany today to ask their elected officials to do what 48 other states in this country have already done: treat minors as minors and raise the age for criminal responsibility.
“It is far past time for the Senate to join us, and pass my proposal to Raise the Age and reform our juvenile criminal law.
“New York is one of only two states in the nation that automatically processes our 16- and 17-year-olds in the adult criminal justice system, no matter the alleged offense and despite the fact that the majority of teenagers arrested in recent years have been locked up for non-violent crimes. This unfair practice places some of our youngest New Yorkers in a prison system where they are more likely to be assaulted, to be injured by prison staff, and to commit suicide than their peers processed as juveniles. They are also far more likely to be re-arrested and re-incarcerated.
“Many problems have no clear or proven solution, but this one does. By raising the age, we can ensure that juveniles receive the intervention and rehabilitation they need to break the vicious cycle of recidivism and increase public safety for all New Yorkers.
“To learn more about Raise the Age in New York, please read my op-ed co-authored by Van Jones in USA Today.”
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