CDANY Response to Albany DA David Soares Unfounded Attack on Raise The Age Legislation

Thursday, December 01, 2022 12:16 PM | Jennifer Van Ort (Administrator)

CDANY Response to Albany DA David Soares
Unfounded Attack on Raise The Age Legislation

ALBANY COUNTY, NY – On Wednesday, Albany County DA David Soares bizarrely claimed the State should roll back the historic Raise the Age legislation because of a lack of investments for criminal legal system-involved youth. In response, Mark Funk, President of the Chief Defenders Association of New York released the following statement:

“CDANY refutes DA Soares’ baseless assertion that there is a correlation between the Raise the Age legislation and a recent alleged carjacking in Albany County. His fearmongering is not grounded in the data or the science. Indeed, New York was the last state in the nation to raise the age of criminal responsibility, only after the rest of the country proved that raising the age benefited youth, families, and community safety. The data is clear: treating kids like kids is most effective at preventing future recidivism and is the only humane and just approach. To now claim that Raise the Age created a "removal of penalties" that makes teens believe unlawful or violent acts have been "legalized" is a nonsensical misrepresentation of these reforms for calculated political gain. Enough. District Attorneys like Mr. Soares must stop trying to tear down these reforms. Instead, he should pitch in to help treat the root causes of violence which have nothing to do with raising the age and everything to do with increasing the investments in programs that can meaningfully impact system-involved youth. Youth need safe housing, access to quality education, job training, summer youth employment, and mentorship opportunities. It’s time to tell New Yorkers the truth: The safest communities have the most resources, not the highest jail populations.”

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