Youth Represent Executive Director Laurie Parise stood behind Governor Andrew Cuomo as he signed historic legislation raising the age of criminal responsibility in New York to 18. Since our inception in 2007, Youth Represent has been a leader in the campaign to Raise the Age. The founding principle of Youth Represent is that young people involved in the justice system need opportunities to succeed, not a lifetime of stigma. This principle guides our client representation and our Raise the Age advocacy. Over the past ten years we have drafted legislation, advocated directly with policy makers, and most importantly ensured that the voices of young people affected by the justice system were heard.
This legislation is a critical victory. It proves that New Yorkers care about justice-involved teenagers and that we can agree that punishing them as we do adults harms kids and doesn’t do anything to improve public safety. It also leaves an enormous amount of work to be done. That’s why we remain committed to monitoring its implementation and will not back down from pushing for further reform. We look forward to building on these shared values as we continue to advocate for justice-involved youth.
You can read our official statement on the Raise the Age legislation here.