Resources & Media

Bend the Arc Celebrates Passage of 'Raise the Age' in Budget Bill

Press Contact: 
Elliot Levy
Press Contact
Release Date: 
Monday, April 10, 2017




New York, NY – Following the New York legislature’s approval of a budget bill that includes ‘Raise the Age’ legislation, which would end prosecution of 16 and 17-year olds as adults in the state’s criminal justice system, Stosh Cotler, CEO of Bend the Arc, released the following statement:

“We are grateful that our elected officials have reached an agreement on raising the age for adult prosecution in New York. This common-sense measure will result in better, fairer outcomes for our youth and community. Young people with criminal offenses deserve the opportunity to become part of our society -- not be condemned to a life of second-class status.

“As Jews, we believe in the importance of repentance, forgiveness and treating all people with dignity and respect. Making ‘Raise the Age’ a reality in our state ensures that these fundamental Jewish and American values are realized in New York’s system of juvenile justice, and gives thousands of vulnerable youth in the system a real chance at a better future. In this political moment, we look forward to the enactment of ‘Raise the Age’ and thank all those who lent their vital support to this legislation, especially the formerly incarcerated youth and their families who bravely shared their stories and experiences.”

The New York Chapter of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice has been engaged in the Raise the Age campaign for a year, working to increase public awareness and urge state lawmakers to raise the age of criminal responsibility in a comprehensive manner that meets the rehabilitative needs of all youth in New York State. Chapter leaders and volunteers made phone calls, published letters-to-the-editor, conducted in-district legislative visits and public education events, and gathered clergy sign-on letters to help contribute to this important victory. To learn more about ‘Raise the Age’, click here.