Jesse Hamilton Fights to Protect Community Youth

New York State Senator, Jesse Hamilton, who serves Gowanus, Brownsville, East Flatbush, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, Sunset Park, South Slope and Prospect Lefferts Gardens has initiated legislative measures with a renewed obligation to overhaul the criminal justice code in respect to amending the age to 18 from 16 for youths charged with crimes within this age gap so they can be placed on trial as young offenders.

North Carolina and New York are the only states that ensure youths are tried as adults when they turn 16 years old. Data analysis suggests this trend affects to a lesser degree whites than people of color.

“Equal justice under law” is emblazoned on our United States Supreme Court Building,” Hamilton wrote in his email newsletter. “We have yet more work to do to bring those words to life. For far too many New Yorkers, when they encounter the justice system they do not receive equal justice.”

“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.

“Time to #RaisetheAge in New York State. I will join my Senate colleagues in efforts to pass legislation to raise the age of criminal responsibility in NY to 18. Our young people deserve better.”

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