Raise The Age Law Set to Take Effect, Steuben County Seeks Youth Detention Center
Steuben County, N.Y. (WENY)– Come October 1st, anyone under the age of 17 arrested for a crime in New York State will not be taken to County Jail. It’s part of the Raise The Age Legislation passed last year, raising the age of criminal responsibility. On October 1st, 2019, the age will be raised again to include 17-year-olds.
As a result, anyone under 17-years-old cannot be tried in criminal court as an adult. Instead, the offender would be charged in family court. This means the juvenile arrested could not be taken to County Jail. This raises an issue with Steuben County Officials. Right now, there is not one in the immediate area. After October 1st, 2018, a 16-year-old arrested and detained would have to be taken hours away to Monroe, Erie, Onondaga, or Albany County. That’s something Steuben County Manager Jack Wheeler says is a problem.
“Any specialized secure detention facility, and there are not many, that would have capacity. It wouldn’t be anywhere near here, and that’s part of the problem. That’s one of the reasons we’re forced essentially to look at those solutions because there are no available beds in the immediate region around here,” explains Wheeler.
Now, Steuben County Officials will work with the 11-county Finger Lakes Region to find a youth detention center in the surrounding area.
“There are a number that are on the table. We’ve looked at sites in Allegany County, there are no renovations that can be had here in Steuben County, we don’t have any detention facilities, so if it were in Steuben, it’d have to be a new build. There is the Monterey Shock Camp in Schuyler County that is a potential, but Schuyler County Officials would have to speak to that,” says Wheeler.
To learn more about Raise The Age legislation, click here: https://www.ny.gov/programs/raise-age-0