Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner Supports Raising the Age for All New Yorkers

Addressing the many shortcomings of our current criminal justice system must start with raising the age for our youth who find themselves on the wrong side of the law. By raising the age of criminal responsibility to 18 years old, we will eliminate the possibility of jail or prison and reduce recidivism in favor of affording our youth the opportunity to grow and better themselves with supportive and educational interventions. Especially in communities of color, raising the age will not hold these individuals to prior mistakes made when they were 16 or 17 and will allow them to be productive members of our society.

I am happy to join my colleagues in raising the age, as we must ensure that youthful transgressions do not lead to the lifelong stigma of a permanent criminal record. All New Yorkers must be given the opportunity for a second chance and the first step is to guarantee that future generations do not end up in the tangled web of our criminal justice system.