ALBANY, N.Y. – Law enforcement, criminal justice experts, civil rights leaders, and child advocates are gathering in Albany to call on New York State to "Raise the Age."
This campaign aims to change the law that treats 16 and 17 year olds who have committed a crime, like adults.
Several District Attorneys, including DA Robert Carney of Schenectady County, are asking NY lawmakers to raise the age from 16, to 18. They say New York is the only other state, besides North Carolina, where children 16 and older are treated like adults in the criminal justice system.
About 50,000 16 and 17 year olds are arrested in New York every year, about 75% face misdemeanor charges.
The Raise the Age campaign says placing 16 and 17 year olds in adult facilities can cause those young people to commit more serious crimes when released. They say this is more likely to happen than if the minors were places in the juvenile justice system.
Those expected to attend Wednesday's event include Paige Pierce, Executive Director of Families Together in NY State, Dr. Megan Kurlychek, School of Criminal Justice at SUNY-Albany, Judge Michael A. Corriero, Executive Director of New York Center for Juvenile Justice, Melanie Hartzog, Executive Director of Children's Defense Fund – New York, NAACP, and affected family members