Gov. Cuomo signs legislation raising age of criminal responsibility
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that raises the age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18 years of age.
New York was one of only two states to prosecute 16-year-olds as adults. Under the new law, 17-year-olds will be charged as adults as of October 2018. Then in 2019, the age will increase to 18.
"What we've done in this legislation is try to move away from trying to incarcerate our youngest offenders to a program of rehabilitation," says Sen. David Carlucci.
The legislation also allows individuals who are crime-free for 10 years after serving their sentence to apply to have their previous criminal convictions sealed. Young people will also no longer be able to be housed in an adult jail, which worries some law enforcement officials.
Orange County undersheriff Kenneth Jones says he has serious concerns about how this law will be put into effect.
"They don't have the facilities so if you want to do this, which again I'm not opposed to, but prepare for the appropriate amount of space to accommodate the new juveniles that will require secure space," says Jones.
Lawmakers say money has been appropriated to meet the needs of making sure the proper facilities are in place to house juvenile offenders.