New York and North Carolina currently treat youth as young as 16 as adults within their legal systems. Both states have an opportunity to positively impact thousands of young lives by treating youth 16-18 within the juvenile system by raising the age of criminal responsibility.
Raise the Age NY is a public awareness campaign combining local and national advocacy efforts to raise the age of criminal responsibility in New York state so that the legal process responds to all children as children and services and placement options better meet the rehabilitative needs of all children and youth.
A most powerful story is Kalief Browder, 1993-2015, by Jennifer Gonnerman, staff writer for the New Yorker Magazine. Kalief was arrested for robbery at the age of 16. He spent 3 years on Riker's Island without being convicted of a crime. Two of those years were spent in solitary confinement where he attempted to end his life several times. His body was released from Riker's in 2013 but the horrors of his ordeal stayed with him. Kalief wanted people to know what happened to him so that others would not suffer the same fate. The world knows his story now, but Kalief is not here to share it. He died by his own hand on June 6, 2015.