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Posted by on Sep 4, 2015 in News

#RaiseTheAge Rally + Teach-In

#RaiseTheAge Rally + Teach-In

This month CAAMI will hold a special City Hall Teach-In and Rally on Monday, September 21 at 6:00pm.

That evening the Albany Common Council will introduce and discuss a resolution in support of Raising the Age of criminal responsibility. New York is one of only two states that prosecutes and incarcerates 16 and 17 year old children as adults. CAAMI has been advocating for raising the age to at least 18 statewide, and specifically we have been organizing for the release of Marquis Dixon, a former Albany High School student who was arrested at 16 for stealing a pair of sneakers.  He was prosecuted as an adult and sentenced to 9 years in an adult facility.

The Common Council is poised to publicly support these efforts and call on City and Local officials to take steps to reduce the incarceration of youth in Albany…but we need your help!

Please join us Monday, September 21st at 6pm on the 1st Floor Lobby of Albany City Hall to rally in support of the resolution Raising the Age. Shortly before 7pm we’ll go as a group to the Common Council meeting and encourage everyone to sign-up to make public comments.

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Below is a copy of the draft resolution:

RESOLUTION OF THE COMMON COUNCIL IN SUPPORT OF RAISING THE AGE OF CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY IN NEW YORK STATE AND URGING ALL DECISION-MAKERSWITHIN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM TO IMMEDIATELY TAKE STEPS TO REDUCE THE INSTANCES IN WHICH YOUNG
PEOPLE UNDER THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN ARE GIVEN HARSH ADULT SENTENCES IN ADULT PRISONS

WHEREAS, New York State is one of only two states in the United States which has set the age of criminal responsibility at 16, thereby prosecuting all 16 and 17 year olds as “adults” in adult courts and subject to adult sentences in adult prisons; and

WHEREAS, a state-wide campaign had emerged in the past several years to “raise the age”of criminal responsibility in New York State to 18; and

WHEREAS, the Governor’s Commission on Youth, Public Safety and Justice issued a comprehensive report in 2014 recommending, among other policy changes, raising the age of criminal responsibility in most instances to 18; and

WHEREAS, extensive research has demonstrated that the incarceration of adolescents in adult jails and prisons results in higher suicide rates, higher rates of sexual abuse, higher rates of recidivism and causes significant and long-term mental and emotional trauma to such young people; and

WHEREAS, processing all 16 and 17 year olds as “adults” in the criminal justice system disproportionately impacts on young men of color who are substantially over represented among youth who are arrested at age 16 and 17 and who end up incarcerated; and

WHEREAS, this over-representation of youth of color in our adult jails and prisons has far-reaching negative ramifications for the individual youths incarcerated as well as for their families and communities and, therefore, for our entire community; and…

Prison set one