Pirozzolo Joins Colleagues, District Attorneys in Pushing for Reforms to ‘Raise The Age’

Assemblyman Sam Pirozzolo (R,C-Staten Island) joined Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay, his colleagues and district attorneys from around the state for a press conference on Thursday calling for reforms to “Raise the Age” legislation. The original legislation, passed in 2017, changed the age an individual can be criminally prosecuted from 16 to 18. This has allowed 16-and 17-year-olds to commit heinous crimes and only be subjected to family court rather than criminal court. In New York City, gangs have recruited these adolescent offenders to do their bidding as they know current law won’t put them in any significant legal jeopardy. The Assembly Minority is offering legislation to close this loophole and once again hold violent 16-and 17-year-old offenders accountable for their crimes.

According to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), 16-and 17-year-old offenders accounted for the following in 2021:

  • 112 arrests for homicide
  • 80 arrests for sex offenses
  • 587 arrests for firearms/dangerous weapon offenses
  • 691 arrests for robbery
  • 213 arrests for burglary
  • 20 arrests for making a terroristic threat, as well as more than 1,600 additional felony arrests

“The statistics show what all of us can see,” said Pirozzolo. “Raise the Age, coupled with bail reform, has allowed for a revolving-door criminal justice system. Repeat offenders do not fear any recourse, especially 16-and 17-year-olds who appear in family court where their prior criminal records are sealed from judges. Additionally, ‘Raise the Age’ has incentivized young children to enter gang-life earlier, putting their lives at risk. While the intent of the original law was to protect children, it does the opposite. I urge my colleagues in the Majority and the governor to join us in fixing this gross injustice and once again put the safety and needs of crime victims ahead of their perpetrators.”