Assemblyman Jake Blumencranz (R,C-Oyster Bay) today supported local district attorneys as well as members of the Senate and Assembly Minority Conferences in their announcement of a bill to reform the flawed Raise the Age (RTA) legislation. When it was enacted in 2018, RTA changed the minimum age a child can be prosecuted as an adult from 16 to 18 years of age. The proposed conference bill will reform RTA and prevent adolescent offenders from escaping liability after committing violent felonies.
According to recent Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) RTA statistics, in 2021, only 9 percent of 16- and 17-year-old offenders arrested for a felony were actually convicted of a felony. Furthermore, only 114 of these adolescent offenders received sentences in excess of one year in prison despite the fact that many were arrested for sex offenses, robbery and even homicide.
“Raise the Age has made it possible for troubled youth to thumb their noses at the law,” said Blumencranz. “Some teens are even being recruited by gangs and senior drug dealers for the simple fact that 16- and 17-year-olds are deemed low risk and useful for their relative immunity in criminal court proceedings. This is unacceptable and exceedingly dangerous for our children. Raise the Age must be reformed to charge adolescent offenders appropriately for any crimes they commit in order to discourage criminal behavior in the future.”