First Capital Region Raise the Age program begins


Programs associated with “Raise the Age,” which was passed in last year’s state budget, are finally getting underway.

The legislation changed the criminal justice system so non-violent offenders ages 16 and 17 would not be charged as adults. The first facility in the area with housing specifically for these minors opened in Schenectady on Monday.

The brand new space is ready to house 8 young women who have gone through the criminal justice system. It’s called “New Directions” and is at the Northern Rivers facility. CEO Bill Gettman says it’s meant to serve as another option to jail or prison.

“The goal here is to have a very short yet intensive program for the women who serve here.”

The program is one of 13 state-wide facilities connected to the Raise the Age legislation. Gettman says a young woman who is right for the program would be placed here by a family court judge. On average they would spend about 8 months at the facility with supervision and services after release as well.

He expects to see the first person sent to the program sometime this month.

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