Brown: ‘Raise The Age’ Has Raised Crime

Assemblyman Keith P. Brown (R,C-Northport) joined local district attorneys, as well as members of the Senate and Assembly Minority Conferences earlier today to announce a conference bill to reform the flawed Raise the Age (RTA) legislation. Raise the Age changed the minimum age a child can be prosecuted as an adult from 16 to 18 years of age in 2018. The proposed bill announced today will help prevent adolescent offenders from being transferred to family court where they could potentially escape accountability in criminal court proceedings even though they committed a violent felony.

Currently under RTA, most 16- and 17-year-old adolescent offenders who commit non-violent felonies are immediately removed to family court unless “extraordinary circumstances” apply. These circumstances often apply to only 1 in 1,000 cases allowing many of these 16- and 17-year-olds to be removed to family court where their records are sealed from criminal court judges, and they are repeatedly treated as first-time offenders.

“I was appalled when I saw some of the statistics,” said Brown. “You don’t have to look very hard to find evidence of the flaws in the Raise the Age legislation. In 2021 alone, roughly 83 percent of 16- and 17-year-old offenders were transferred to family court or probation intake. Thus, these teens often are released back into society with merely a slap on the wrist and are at high risk of reoffending in the future. I fully support treatment and rehabilitation of younger individuals charged with a crime, but their age should not excuse them from the consequences of their actions.”