New York State will no longer arrest or criminally prosecute children under the age of 12. Governor Kathy Hochul signed the legislation last year and it took effect on January 1, 2023. Under previous law, children ages 7 and older could be charged with a crime in New York. According to the Legal Aid Society via Gothamist,

Across the state, at least 800 children under the age of 12 were arrested by police in 2019. In New York City, about 90% were Black or Hispanic.

Now that the new law is in effect, any youth under the age of 12, who commits a crime will be referred to the local social services department. The exception to the law is in cases of homicide.

The legislation behind the new law, S04051A/A04982-A,

Raises the lower age of juvenile delinquency jurisdiction from seven to twelve years of age; establishes differential response programs for children under the age of twelve.

Governor Hochul also recently announced that three police departments in New York State have received federal funding to find alternatives to juvenile offender arrests. Police departments in Buffalo, Schenectady, and Yonkers will share the $1.5 million over 5 years to implement programs to provide alternatives to arrest for justice-involved youth. Gov. Hochul said,

New York State is committed to ensuring that our justice system is fair to support our youth and improve public safety for all New Yorkers. I'm proud to announce this $1.5 million in federal funding, which will support our state's efforts to help law enforcement and community leaders partner together to ensure that our youth have the services and opportunities they need to build healthy futures and safe communities.

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These 8 New York State Counties Have The Most Violent Young Criminals

New York State has seven indexes for violent crimes - murder, rape, robbery, motor vehicle theft, burglary, aggravated assault, and larceny. As much as we'd like to think that young people rarely commit violent crimes, the truth is, they do. In NYS, outside of New York City, which doesn't report its juvenile crime statistics to the Division of Criminal Justice Services, there were 8,804 violent crimes perpetrated by youth offenders in 2020. The totals do not include crimes such as arson, possession of dangerous weapons, or simple assault. The data does include incidents that were reported, but where no charges were filed,

This data is not limited to court or formal arrest actions. Data includes both formal arrests and police contacts with juveniles where there is probable cause that an offense was committed but no formal charges were filed.

Youth offenders in New York are under the age of 18.

8. Broome County/Binghamton - 103 Violent Crimes Total

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7. Suffolk County/Brookhaven - 137 Violent Crimes Total

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6. Albany County/ Albany- 165 Violent Crimes Total

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5. Westchester County/Yonkers - 178 Violent Crimes Total

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4. Monroe County/Rochester - 222 Violent Crimes Total

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3. Nassau County/Hempstead - 275 Violent Crimes Total

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2. Erie County/Buffalo - 341 Violent Crimes Total

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1. Onondaga County/Syracuse - 440 Violent Crimes Total

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