If NY Politicians Really Want to Stop Locking Up Teens, Why Won’t They Do It

For five years, “Raise the Age” legislation has been proposed to eliminate New York’s current practice of prosecuting all 16 and 17-year-old juvenile offenders as adult criminals. And for five years, Republicans and a handful of rogue Democrats in the State Senate have blocked it. This year was supposed to be different — on its face, the initiative has bipartisan support, and Governor Andrew Cuomo gave it a strong endorsement during his State of the State speech in January. But one month before the state government must settle on a budget, the fate of Raise the Age is still very much uncertain.