January 25, 2024
On Thursday, January 25, Policy and Advocacy Associate Caitlyn Passaretti submitted testimony on behalf of CCC to the joint Legislative Budget Hearing on Public Protection. On behalf of CCC the testimony highlights the need to invest in community well-being to bolster community safety. CCC suggests a number of investments to fund a full continuum of youth justice services to put youth and communities first.
Testimony of Caitlyn Passaretti
Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York
Submitted to the New York State Fiscal Year 2025
Joint Legislative Budget Hearing Public Protection
January 25th, 2024
Since 1944, Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York has served as an independent, multi- issue child advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring every New York child is healthy, housed,
educated, and safe. CCC does not accept or receive public resources, provide direct services, or represent a sector or workforce; our priority is improving outcomes for children and families through civic engagement, research, and advocacy. We document the facts, engage, and mobilize New Yorkers, and advocate for solutions to ensure the wellbeing of New York’s children, families, and communities.
We would like to thank Chair Krueger, Chair Weinstein, as well as Chairs Bailey, Dinowitz, Hoylman- Sigal, Lavine, Salazar, and Dilan and all members of Senate Finance, Assembly Ways and Means, Senate and Assembly Codes, Judiciary, Crime Victims, Crime and Correction committees for holding today’s hearing on Public Protection in the FY25 Executive Budget.
In the face of the rhetoric that has dominated many recent news articles on crime in New York, we believe it is essential to make clear that youth crime is not rising in New York State nor New York City. Youth arrests and index crimes have continued to decline over the past ten years.1 The fear mongering around crime that is currently permeating many media outlets is destructive, dangerous, and untrue. At a time when New Yorkers are working to rebuild after the pandemic, facing the subsequent economic insecurity, and a current behavioral health crisis, we need investments in youth and communities. While other areas of the budget must address actions and investments that lift incomes, stabilize housing, and meet rising behavioral needs, public protection also requires public investment. It is essential that we fund a full continuum of youth justice services to rebuild our state and put youth and communities first.
CCC recommends the following investments and legislative priorities to ensure youth are supported and communities are safe:
The above recommendations will help create safe communities and help youth and their families throughout the state thrive.
Thank you for the opportunity to provide testimony.