17-year-olds to be treated as juveniles as ‘Raise the Age’ law enters 2nd phase

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The second phase of the “Raise the Age” law is being implemented in New York City.

Last year, the first phase of the “Raise the Age” law took effect in New York City – no longer charging 16-year-old as adults.

Beginning Tuesday, 17-year-olds will be treated as juveniles and their cases will be handled in family court.

Last year, nearly 100 teenagers under the age of 18 were moved out of the facilities on Rikers Island to Horizon Juvenile Detention Center in the Bronx. Before Tuesday, 17-year-olds entering the system were still charged as adults.

Since the first phase, the Legal Aid Society says it has seen a change and improvements by transferring 16-year-olds to age-appropriate courts. They're hoping for the same result with 17-year-olds. They will also have access to resources and services along with court processes.

According to studies, youth sentenced as an adult are 34 percent more likely to commit the same or even a more violent offense.

 

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