Following the tragic story of New Yorker Kalief Browder – the teen who spent years in jail at Rikers Island on false accusations– State Sen. Jesse Hamilton is calling on his colleagues in the state legislature and the community to join him in passing the 2017 Criminal Justice Reform Act which raises the age of criminal responsibility in NY to 18.
“Instead of a speedy trial, they receive unwarranted delays and slow justice,” said Hamilton of teen suspects who languish at Rikers. “Instead of bail set according to community safety, they receive excessive bail and unreasonable justice. And instead of justice that takes the best of reason and science on board, they receive uninformed and insensate justice.”
“All the elements of the Governor’s proposal are important, but particularly important are the Raise the Age provisions,” Hamilton added. “We know that young people are brutalized by uniformly putting them through a justice system designed for adults. We know that adolescent brains are not fully developed. And we know that the life chances of young people put through our justice system are severely impacted by this policy.
“That’s part of the reason 48 other states have taken a different path than New York. It is time for us to bring our justice system up to the high standard “equal justice under law” demands.
On Thursday, February 23, 6:30pm at St. Francis De Sales School for the Deaf, located at 260 Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights, Hamilton will hold a “Raise the Age” Task Force Meeting, inviting community involvement in the enforcement of criminal justice reform.
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