Policy Reform & Youth Leadership 2016 Priorities

+ Develop Youth Leadership & Engagement

Justice involved youth are the experts on how systems are broken and what needs to change. Through the Youth Leadership & Engagement Project (YLEP) we give our clients the tools to become agents of change in their communities and build skills for careers in public policy and other fields. YLEP includes workshops on civic engagement, focus groups to identify policy reform priorities, advocacy and media opportunities, and our Youth Speakers Institute.

+ Raise the Age of Criminal Responsibility

New York and North Carolina are the only states in the nation that automatically prosecute ALL youth as adults when they turn 16 years-old. Youth Represent is working to:

  • Raise the overall age of juvenile jurisdiction to 18;
  • Ensure that no youth who is 16 or 17 years old is placed in an adult jail or prison;
  • Expand Youthful Offender eligibility to 21 and allow for retroactive sealing of criminal records;
  • Right-size the justice system by increasing opportunities for youth to be diverted from the courts.

+ Pass the In The Meantime Bill for Privacy & Fairness in State Courts

The purpose of New York’s youthful offender law is undermined when eligible young people’s cases pend for months or years with all information open to the public. Information about teenagers and the charges they face leaks onto websites and remains available even if the case is eventually sealed. The In the Meantime Bill (A 05021) will keep young people’s criminal court cases private until the final disposition in the case.

+ Promote Re-Entry for Public Housing Residents

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) routinely starts eviction proceedings when a household member is arrested, before conviction for any crime. Some families are allowed to avoid eviction only on the condition that they permanently exclude the family member who was arrested, meaning that even teenagers can be permanently banished from their homes. Youth Represent is advocating for policies that promote safety and stability for all NYCHA residents, including those charged with crimes.

+ Stop Over-Criminalization of Youth

As crime fell over the past 30 years in New York City the rate of misdemeanor arrests increased dramatically, with the heaviest burden felt by Black and Latino youth age 16-24. The result has been severe collateral consequences for youth, back-logged courts, and a wide gap in trust between police and communities of color. Youth Represent is advocating for NYPD accountability through the Right to Know Act, fairness and transparency when property is seized from youth upon arrest, and summons court reform.


TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE RIGHT TO KNOW ACT

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TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE RIGHT TO KNOW ACT

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TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE RIGHT TO KNOW ACT

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TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE RIGHT TO KNOW ACT

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TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE RIGHT TO KNOW ACT

CLICK BELOW