February 18, 2017 4:49 pm News Admin
Assemblyman Andrew Garbarino (R,C,I,Ref-Sayville) voted against the bill known as the “Raise the Age” Bill.
The Assembly Democrats’ legislation seeks to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18 and raises the minimum age of juvenile delinquent status from 7 to 12 years old, even for violent criminal offenses.
“How can anyone look a victim of a violent crime in the eye and tell them that their attacker has more rights than them? The Assembly Democrats’ Raise the Age bill would fail to hold those who commit serious and violent crimes accountable for their actions, and victims would not see the justice they deserve,” said Garbarino. “I proudly stand with the victims and survivors of violent crimes in our state and I reject this ill-advised legislation.”
According to the District Attorneys Association of New York (DAASNY) only 5 percent of arrests within age range of 16 to 17, also known as middle-aged teens, have resulted in criminal convictions. The existing system successfully has held violent felon, non-violent felon, and serial recidivists accountable for their actions.
Judges and prosecutors carefully approach how justice will be sought in criminal cases where the offender is perhaps just a misguided youth. In fact, teens as old as 18 are able to carry youthful offender statuses, despite their legal adult status.
The Democrats’ bill would ruin the flexible system in place and make it difficult to seek justice in cases involving the most serious of crimes. Allowing violent teen-criminals to hide within the family court system poses a public safety threat. If the bill were to be enacted, more records would be sealed of those who may be criminally-minded and deeply troubled teens. This would make prosecution and efforts to carry out justice more difficult. Worse yet is that if teens are not given proper sentencing, they may never receive the intensive services needed such as mental health care and addiction treatment. Failure to receive proper rehabilitation, which is a core principle of the correctional system, makes these teen offenders more at risk of recidivism.
Furthermore, the criminal court system has more tools, resources and rights for crime victims, which family courts do not have or even ensure. Victims are entitled to be informed at each step of a court case, including the disposition or final ruling. It has been found that victims were failed to be informed that their cases have been concluded until weeks later.