January 17, 2018
The RTA-NY Campaign applauds Governor Cuomo for including $100 million for expense side services and $50 million for capital needs in the Executive Budget for SFY 2018-2019 to implement the legislation to raise the age of criminal responsibility. While we appreciate the Governor’s critical investments in raise the age, other proposed Executive Budgetary actions undermine the ability of jurisdictions around the state to deliver essential juvenile justice services and implement raise the age effectively. We urge the Governor to fully meet the capital, program and service requirements of raising the age of criminal responsibility in all counties – including the five boroughs of the City of New York – to ensure successful implementation of Raise the Age and improve outcomes for justice involved youth.
Last session Governor Cuomo, the Assembly and the Senate passed a historic piece of legislation that changed the way that New York responds to young people impacted by the justice system. With one of the strongest new laws in the country, raising the age of criminal responsibility has the potential to positively impact the lives of thousands of young people, their families, and communities around the state if implemented as intended. Successful implementation will require that all counties have sufficient resources, including but not limited to funding for probation and community-based services; training of all stakeholders; court staff including judges and lawyers; data-tracking systems to measure progress and success; service-rich facilities and other capital needs; community based alternatives; and comprehensive re-entry services.
We understand that New York state is facing a challenging fiscal landscape and we appreciate the Governor’s proposed investments in Raise the Age. We stand ready to work with him and the entire State Legislature to ensure the state’s adopted budget makes the investments needed to ensure successful implementation of the law in every county of this state.
Jennifer March, Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York
Naomi Post, Children’s Defense Fund – New York
Paige Pierce, Families Together In New York State
Cora Greenberg, Westchester Children’s Association
Laurie Parise, Youth Represent