Statement on Adopted FY2020 Budget

RTAlogo

April 1, 2019

We applaud the Governor and the Legislature for reaching agreement on a budget that supports youth justice reform and builds on the Raise the Age legislation in a number of ways.  First, by adopting a budget that increases State funding for Raise the Age implementation to $200M, New York is making significant investments in local communities that are creating the continuum of services and programs necessary to serve youth. This is especially critical as we prepare for the law’s application to seventeen-year-olds later this year.

We also support the budget agreement with regard to youth at-risk for, and adjudicated as, Persons In Need of Supervision (PINS). The adopted budget lifts-up children and families by ending the use of non-secure detention for PINS youth, supporting access to diversion and respite services to prevent PINS filings in family court, and allowing youth to be placed in foster care when necessary for their well-being. This budget will strengthen families and support vulnerable youth as counties can rely on open-ended child welfare funding from the State to provide these important services that can prevent or limit adolescents’ contact with the juvenile and criminal justice systems.

We also celebrate the agreements reached on broad criminal justice reform that benefit youth who remain in the adult criminal justice system.  The bills, which eliminate money bail for most misdemeanor and low-level felony charges, require that prosecutors turn over all evidence more quickly, and address some barriers to speedy trial, continue to move New York’s youth justice system forward on its path of reform.

Naomi Post, Children’s Defense Fund-New York

Jennifer March, Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York

Paige Pierce, Families Together In New York State

Michael Pope, Youth Represent