Locals head to "raise the age" rally

Posted at 9:24 AM, Mar 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-07 13:02:02-05

A group of Western New Yorkers are headed to a rally at state capitol, calling for New York to raise the age of criminal responsibility.

Right now, New York courts automatically treat everyone 16 and older as an adult. The only other state to do this is North Carolina.

According to supporters of the "Raise the Age" campaign, adolescents who are prosecuted as an adults are more likely to continue committing crimes in the future, while those who are treated as juveniles are more likely to stay out of jail.

In his executive budget, Gov. Cuomo introduced legislation to increase the age of criminal responsibility to 18.

Under a proposed law, most 16 and 17 year-olds charged with non-violent crimes would be tried in family court. That proposal has passed the State Assembly. Now, the decision lies with the State Senate.

If passed, the law would go into effect next year.