Rikers Island

Anthony Behar/Sipa Press

New York’s ‘Raise The Age’ law steers teens away from adult justice system

October 01, 2018 - 1:55 pm

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Family court in New York will be getting busier.

The state's 'Raise The Age' law took effect on Monday. It's aimed at steering 16-year-olds away from the criminal justice system.

Those charged with more serious counts will appear in what's being called the 'youth part' of criminal court.

The law passed last year, and a year from now, will provide the same treatment for 17-year-olds.

"At a time when President Trump and this federal government are taking us backward, New York is moving forward with bold criminal justice reform," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. "By raising the age of criminal responsibility, New York is putting an end to an injustice that falls disproportionately on people of color and once again proving that we are the progressive beacon for the nation. In New York, we will never stop fighting for a more equal and more just society for all."

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul called it an important step in ending injustice.

"We will continue to fight to ensure that people of color and individuals in high-needs communities are given equal opportunities to live their lives to the fullest," she said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has also announced that all 16 and 17-year-olds have been moved from Rikers Island to dedicated juvenile facilities with access to social services.

De Blasio called it a 'historic moment for criminal justice reform.'