About Us

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.

New York is one of only two states in the country that have failed to recognize what research and science have confirmed – adolescents are children, and prosecuting and placing them in the adult criminal justice system doesn’t work for them and doesn’t work for public safety.

But New York continues to be the only state other than North Carolina that prosecutes ALL youth as adults when they turn 16 years of age.

Research into brain development underscores that adolescents are in fact children and that the human brain is not fully formed until the age of 25.

  • As the cognitive skills of adolescents are developing, adolescents’ behavior is often impulsive and they lack the ability to focus on the consequences of their behavior.[1]
  • Because the adolescent brain is still developing, the character, personality traits and behavior of adolescents are highly receptive to change; adolescents respond well to interventions, learn to make responsible choices, and are likely to grow out of negative or delinquent behavior.[2]

Raise the Age NY is a campaign that supports raising the age of criminal responsibility for children in New York to improve outcomes for children and public safety.

Lead group members:
Center for Community Alternatives
Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York
Correctional Association of New York
Families Together in NYS
Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies
Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy
The Children’s Agenda
The Children’s Defense Fund – New York
The Fund for Modern Courts
Westchester Children’s Association
Youth Represent
Additional supporters to date:
1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East
Alternatives for Battered Women
American Friends Service Committee (NY)
Amnesty International
Arab American Association of NY
Association for Community Living, Inc.
Association of NYS Youth Bureaus
Association to Benefit Children
Harry Belafonte
Bronx Christian Fellowship Church
Bronx Clergy Roundtable
Brooklyn Community Services
Brooklyn Defender Services
Campaign to End the New Jim Crow
Casa Rochester/Monroe County, Inc.
Center for Children’s Initiatives
Center for Popular Democracy
Child Welfare Organizing Project
Children’s Village
Citizens Action of New York
City of Glen Cove Youth Bureau
Coalition for Asian American Children and Families
Coalition for Education Justice
Coalition for Hispanic Children and Families
Coalition for the Homeless
Coalition of Black Trade Unionists
Commission on the Public’s Health System
Communities United for Police Reform
Community Connections for Youth
Community Service Society
Community Voices for Youth and Families
Crossway Church
Dignity in Schools Campaign – New York
Equal Justice Initiative
Faith in New York
Families On The Move of NYC, Inc.
First Corinthian Baptist Church
Forestdale Inc.
Good Shepherd Services
Graham Windham
Harlem Children’s Zone
Human Services Council
Incarcerated Nation Corp.
Jewish Child Care Association
Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club
Latino Justice PRLDEF
Lawyers for Children
Leake &Watts Services, Inc.
Legal Action Center
Lenox Hill Neighborhood House
Long Island Progressive Coalition
Lutheran Family Health Centers
Make the Road New York
Mental Health Association in New York State, Inc.
MFY Legal Services, Inc.
Montefiore School Health Program
National Association of Social Workers – New York State
National Economic and Social Rights Initiative
Neighborhood Family Services Coalition
New York American Academy of Pediatrics, District II
New York Association of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers, Inc.
New York Center for Juvenile Justice
New York Civil Liberties Union
New York Lawyers for the Public Interest
New York Society for Ethical Culture
New York State Coalition for Children’s Mental Health
New York State Coalition for School-Based Health Centers
New York State Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare
New York Theological Seminary
NYC Jails Action Coalition
Partnership for After School Education (PASE)
Partnership for the Public Good
Partners in Restorative Initiatives
Pumphouse Projects
Save the Kids
SCO Family of Services
Staten Island Council on Child Abuse and Neglect
S.T.R.O.N.G. Youth Inc. 
Teachers Unite
The Black Institute
The Brotherhood/Sister Sol
The Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services (CASES)
The Children’s Aid Society
The Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies, Inc.
The Fortune Society
The Legal Aid Society
The National Alliance for Mental Illness-New York State 
The New York Foundling
The New York State Dispute Resolution Association 
The Osborne Association
The Partnership For Public Good
The Resolution Plan
Tremont United Methodist Church
United Neighborhood Houses
Unique People Services
Uniting Disabled Individuals, Inc
Urban Health Plan, Inc.
Urban Justice Center
Urban Youth Collaborative
Women’s City Club of New York
Pastor Mike Walrond
William F. Ryan Community Health Network


[1] MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice. Issue Brief #3: Less Guilty by Reason of Adolescence. Retrieved from: http://www.adjj.org/downloads/6093issue_brief_3.pdf.

[2] “What Makes Delinquent Youths ‘Go Right’?” Juvenile Justice: New Models for Reform (John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, 2005): 16, accessed January 19, 2013, http://www.macfound.org/press/publications/juvenile-justice-new-models-for-reform/.