With “progressive” New York being among the only two states in the nation (North Carolina the other) that sets the age of criminal responsibility at 16, Governor Andrew Cuomo is prioritizing getting comprehensive legislation passed that raises the age of criminal liability at 18.
This will ensure that adolescents are removed from adult facilities, have access to age-appropriate services, and mitigate the collateral consequences that would prove detrimental to a young person’s chances at employment, higher eeducation, and in many cases, housing.
“It is unconscionable that New York is one of two states in the country where the 16- and 17-year-olds are tried as adults, so hearing it again from the governor as a priority is a good first step,” said Assemblyman Michael Blake, D-Bronx.
Cuomo last year backed a plan that would move juvenile inmates out of the adult prison population to alternative facilities. At the same time, he wanted to increase the age of adult trials from 16 to 18, but lawmakers couldn’t agree on a solution to the issue.
“When we look at the criminal justice system, and you look at the proposals that came out of the original commission that he put together, they’re very extensive and they require a lot,” said state Sen. Pat Gallivan, R-Elma. “I think it requires much more than just checking a box.