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Assembly Minority Proposes “Raise the Age” Reforms


Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay (R,C-Pulaski) and members of the Minority Conference on Thursday announced legislation to reform the flawed “Raise the Age” and improve the level of accountability for those who commit violent felony crimes. The Minority Conference was joined by district attorneys, who have continued to point out the problems with the law since its passage in the 2017-2018 State Budget.

The legislation introduced by Leader Barclay and the Minority Conference:

  • Requires that any violent felony offense committed by an adolescent offender be maintained in youth-part criminal court unless all parties agree to move the case to family court. The current violent felony provision is too narrow and omits several offenses like gang assault or criminal possession of a weapon.
  • Includes and defines “circumstances” that would prevent a non-violent felony case from being moved to family court, should a district attorney prove one or more circumstances exist. The current “extraordinary circumstances” is too vague and are eliminated.
  • Amends Criminal Procedure Law and Family Court Act to ensure judges, prosecutors, and defense counsels can access documents pertaining to arrests and juvenile delinquency proceedings.
  • Requires a victim of a crime committed by a person under the age of 18 be notified of the outcome of a case.

“For years we’ve seen a steady drumbeat of radical, liberal policies that have enabled crimes to be committed with little accountability. It makes our streets more dangerous, it makes law enforcement more difficult and it undermines a justice system that is supposed to protect the innocent,” Leader Barclay said. “We don’t need to throw out the law entirely, but we need to fix what isn’t working. As with most progressive policymaking, Raise the Age went too far and created a system where young people commit violent crimes and face little to no consequences. We need to remedy that immediately.”

“I am proud to co-sponsor this legislation put forth by Leader Barclay,” said Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C-Corning) “Another sobering statistic from 2021 is that only 9% of 16-and 17-year-old offenders who were arrested for a felony actually received a felony conviction. Gov. Hochul often touts being data-driven in her policymaking. In this case, the data is clear. ‘Raise the Age’ has subjected New Yorkers to increased violence and violent criminals have been able to use a loophole to avoid the criminal justice system. I urge her and my Democrat colleagues in the Assembly and state Senate to support our common-sense bill that would reverse the trend of rampant teen violence so we can once and for all put the interests and needs of crime victims and public safety over dangerous and violent offenders.”

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