Advocates push to raise age of criminal responsibility to 18

Experts say 16 and 17 year olds shouldn't be criminally charged as adults

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC-TV) - Advocates and experts are pushing lawmakers to raise the age of criminal responsibility, so 16 and 17 year olds can’t be criminally charged as an adult.

Law enforcement experts and health professionals held a rally at the Center for Youth on Monday to urge lawmakers to raise the age to 18.

Currently, New York is one of only two states that prosecutes 16 and 17 year olds as adults.

"One, it gives opportunity for young adults to be a youthful offender,” said Monroe County Legislator James Sheppard. “That's able to have the record be sealed. It's very important because we don't need to house teenagers with adults. What we find is that at the end of their time in incarceration, they end up being better criminals."

Governor Andrew Cuomo has included legislation to raise the age in his executive budget.

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