National, State Groups Urge NY Legislature to Raise the Age to 18

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NEW YORK — More than 40 national and state organizations dedicated to juvenile justice reform posted a joint letter today to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature on the need to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 18.

The legislative session is scheduled to end Wednesday. A commission appointed by Cuomo recommended in January that the legislature raise the age.

New York is one of only two states that still prosecute all 16- and 17 –year-olds in the justice system as adults.

The letter also urged keeping youth out of adult facilities, allowing for pre-petition diversion and the sealing of records.

The organizations included Amnesty International, the Campaign for Youth Justice, the Justice Policy Institute, the Juvenile Law Center, the National Juvenile Justice Network and The Sentencing Project.

The complete text of the letter can be read here.

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