Group pushes to raise age adolescents are tried as adults

Children's advocates and former teenage inmates met at the White Plains Library to push lawmakers to raise the age a teen can by prosecuted as an adult.



They would like to see the age raised from 16 to 18 years old.



Advocates are calling for accountability from teens, but don't want violent and non-violent offenders to be treated in the same way.



"They're more likely to be victims of violence and sexual assault. They're more likely to come out of prison and commit more serious offenses," said Melanie Hartzog, of the Children's Defense Fund.



Supporters say if the law is changed, those who commit non-violent crimes would no longer be prosecuted as adults. Cases of serious crimes, like assault and murder, would be heard by judges specially trained to deal with adolescents.



 


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