Facing Time: Facing Future - Raise The Age

facing time, facing future
Correctional Association of New York
February 1, 2017

 About | Real Stories | Take Action |  Get Involved |  Learn More

New York is one of only two states in the country to prosecute all 16- and 17-year-olds in the justice system as adults, with zero exceptions. Each year, more than 30,000 16- and 17-year-olds are typically arrested and charged as adults in New York State.

Teens confined in adult prisons and jails are in grave danger. They face very high rates of sexual assault and rape, physical assaults, attacks with weapons, and can, in some facilities, be held in solitary confinement. Children in adult jails are 36 percent more likely to commit suicide than children in youth detention facilities.

When a 16-  or 17-year-old is arrested or interrogated by police in New York State, there is no requirement to notify parents. And youth charged as adults do not have access to the rigorous and age-appropriate rehabilitative services that are available in Family Court.

Prosecuting kids as adults actually hurts public safety. A 2007 study comparing youth charged in New York’s adult courts with youth charged with identical crimes in New Jersey’s juvenile courts found New York youth were 100 percent more likely to re-offend with a violent offense and 26 percent more likely to be re-incarcerated. When Connecticut moved the majority of the cases of 16- and 17-year-olds out of adult court, arrests plummeted, including for violent crime.   

Facing Time, Facing Future:

Facing Time: Facing Future, a project of the Correctional Association of New York, features portraits, videos and stories highlighting the experiences of those most directly impacted by New York’s practice of prosecuting children as adults. Read the booklet here.

These six 90-second videos and accompanying booklet were produced by the Correctional Association of New York in collaboration with the wonderful creative team of Emily Whitfield, Marshall Reese (videographer), and Harry Zernike (photographer and book designer). We would like to thank the Public Welfare Foundation for their support for Facing Time: Facing Future, and the Tow Foundation for their continuing commitment to this issue.

Anjie talks about how a criminal record greatly damages a young person's chance for a successful future.

Jim's experience highlights the need to provide supportive and safe alternatives to incarceration for young people.

Jordyn shares her experience as a teacher at Rikers Island and how young people's dreams can be stifled and deferred.

Incarcerated as a youth, Nurideen describes why prison is no place for a child.

Vanessa describes her fears and recounts the abuse that youth experience in adult facilities.

Ismael describes his experiences as a youth in solitary confinement in an adult jail.

facing time facing future

Take Action

Take Action

Click the "act now" button to contact your elected officials, urging them to pass comprehensive “raise the age” legislation before NY's legislative session ends in June. If we are successful, these vital reforms will get kids out of adult jails and prisons, allow kids opportunities to receive age-appropriate services and effectively re-enter society, and reduce crime.


Get Involved

Advocate online by sharing these stories to voice why Raise the Age is critical  for protecting young people.

New York: #RaiseTheAgeNY Because young people should not grow up in prison. #FacingTimeFacingFuture http://bit.ly/RTA-act  

#RaiseTheAgeNY Because all children deserve the help they need. #FacingTimeFacingFuture raisetheageny.com/


New York: #RaiseTheAgeNY Because no child belongs in a box. #FacingTimeFacingFuture http://bit.ly/1ESxQrf


#RaiseTheAgeNY. Because no child should wonder if they will die in jail. #FacingTimeFacingFuture http://bit.ly/1ESxQrf

NY is one of only two states in the country that automatically prosecutes 16- and 17-year-olds as adults, with no exceptions. NY houses 16- and 17-year olds in adult jails and prisons, where they are at grave risk of suicide, rape, and physical abuse, and  may, in some facilities, be held in solitary confinement. Help us #RaisetheAgeNY: raisetheageny.com


Learn More

The Correctional Association
The Correctional Association of New York (“the CA”) is an independent, non-profit organization founded by concerned citizens in 1844 and granted unique authority by the New York State Legislature to inspect prisons and report its findings and recommendations to the legislature, the public and the press. Through monitoring, research, public education and policy recommendations, the CA strives to make the administration of justice in NYS more fair, efficient and humane. 


Raise the Age New York is a public awareness campaign that includes national and local advocates, youth, parents, law enforcement and legal representative groups, faith leaders, and unions that have come together to increase public awareness of the need to implement a comprehensive approach to raise the age of criminal responsibility in NYS 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. 


Visit RaisetheAgeNY.com for data, stories and ways to take action.


This page was reviewed and updated by SparkAction in 2017.

Share this SparkAction Link: click here to shorten
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