January 10, 2024
Raise the Age NY Coalition urges State to release allocated funding in support of programs that create pathways for rehabilitation, growth, and future opportunity for NY youth
New York – In response to Governor Hochul’s State of the State address, the Raise the Age NY Coalition issued the following statement:
Governor Hochul covered a number of important topics in today’s State of the State address, and we are pleased that she committed to increasing funding for the Supervision and Treatment Services for Juveniles Program (STSJP). However, we cannot let another year go by without the State also expediting each county’s access to the already appropriated hundreds of millions of dollars for the Raise the Age law’s implementation, and permitting community-based organizations to access State dollars directly in order to expand services and support for New York youth.
Despite the misinformation peddled by its politically motivated critics, the Raise the Age law has already been a major success. Crime has consistently gone down since its implementation in 2018. Outside New York City, there has been a 73% decrease in adolescent arrests and a 68% decrease in arrests for serious offenses, including violent crime, since 2013. And within New York City since 2013, there has been a 77% decrease in adolescent arrests, as well as a 48% decrease in arrests for serious offenses, including violent crime.
To fully realize her stated commitment to public safety and to young people, the Governor should ensure that programs shown to reduce crime among young people get the funding they need – funding that is in fact already budgeted. As of 2022, it has been reported that only $270 million of the $800 million appropriated for Raise the Age implementation had been invested in community-based programs and services for young people throughout New York State. New York City, which accounts for half of youth with legal system involvement, has been excluded from receiving this funding entirely. Releasing this funding will provide access to critical programming for the still too many young New Yorkers impacted by gun violence.
We urge Governor Hochul to invest in resources and opportunities for young people across New York State and to expedite the release of the appropriated funding to all counties including New York City. This will make all New Yorkers safer and ensure that Raise the Age is able to live up to its fullest potential.
About the Raise the Age NY Coalition
The Raise the Age NY Coalition includes organizations from across New York, including formerly-incarcerated youth and their families, child advocates, service providers, faith leaders, legal services groups, and unions. Together, we helped pass the Raise the Age law to end the practice of automatically charging all 16- and 17-year-olds as adults. Today, we stand with allies from across the state who are moving youth justice forward.