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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a new law that will raise the state’s criminal responsibility age to 18. The law phases-in a higher age of criminal responsibility and moves inmates under the age of 18 who have committed nonviolent crimes out of adult jails and prison systems. Such inmates will instead be sent to specialized juvenile detention facilities.

The first phase-in happens on October 1, 2017 when the age of criminal responsibility will rise to 17. As of October 1, 2019, it will raise again to 18. Children who meet the age limits will be referred to Family Court for counseling, support services, and possible juvenile detention instead of adult prisons and jails. The law also directs that all 16- and 17-year-olds must be removed from Rikers Island prison by October 1, 2018.

This was reported by The Legislative Gazette on April 17, 2017.

Contact Information: New York Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, City Hall, New York, NY 10007; 212-639-9675; Email:; Website:

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