Gov. Cuomo announced last Tuesday that he has issued an Executive Order that directs the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS), in collaboration with the Office of Children and Family Services, to implement a plan to remove minors from the state’s adult prisons.
The Executive Order is part of Gov. Cuomo’s ‘Raise the Age’ initiative, which would increase the age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18, and enable 17 and 17 years to be treated as juveniles. The Assembly approved the measure, but the Senate did not.
Under the plan, all female youth prisons and all medium and minimum security classified male youths sentenced to state prison will be moved the from adult facilities where they are currently housed to a juvenile facility which will provide specialized programs of treatment geared for younger offenders while also ensuring the safety of staff, inmates and the surrounding community.
Gov. Cuomo said:
“By housing 16 and 17 year-olds in an age-appropriate correctional facility, we can offer them a better chance at turning their lives around and becoming productive members of society. This action will help reduce the recidivism rate, increase public safety, and save taxpayer dollars over the long run.”