Raise the Age New York

New York and North Carolina are the only two states that automatically arrest and prosecute 16- and 17-year-olds as adults. As a result, thousands of adolescents are processed in an adult criminal justice system that excludes the involvement of parents, subjects youth to adult jails and prisons and saddles them with criminal records that impact the rest of their lives. 

Criminal justice and public safety experts agree that treating youth in age-appropriate ways reduces recidivism and improves public safety. CDF-NY and child advocates will continue fighting until New York State joins the other 48 states that do not automatically treat young people—as young as 16—in ways that put them and our communities in harm.

About the Campaign

Raise the Age NY is a campaign that supports raising the age of criminal responsibility for children in New York to improve outcomes for children and public safety.

As co-lead of the Raise the Age – New York campaign, Children's Defense Fund—New York (CDF-NY) has fought tirelessly in support of raising the age of criminal responsibility in New York. While we are disappointed that New York State failed to pass pending legislation to raise the age during the 2015 legislative session, we are pleased that Governor Cuomo stated he will take executive action to move 16 and 17-year olds out of facilities with adults.

Nevertheless, this important step toward improving conditions for justice-involved young people does not provide the key components of meaningful reform that the Governor's Commission on Youth, Public Safety and Justice recommended — namely:

  • diversion;

  • alternatives to placement;

  • record sealing,

  • parental notice; and

  • age-appropriate court processing. 

Read the Commission’s Recommendations

Get Involved

For more information please vist Raise the Age-NY campaign website.

Urge Governor Cuomo and NY State Legislators to Pass Comprehensive Raise the Age Legislation by clicking here.

Make sure to like and follow our campaign.

If you are an organization and would like to sign on please email NYraisetheage@gmail.com.

Together, we can raise the age!

Contact Us

For more information on the
Raise the Age-NY campaign,
please contact:

Elizabeth Powers
Senior Policy Associate