Facing Time: Facing Future - Raise The Age

June 1, 2015

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New York is one of only two states in the country that prosecutes all 16 and 17 year olds in the justice system as adults, with zero exceptions. In 2013, over 33,000 16-and 17-year-olds were arrested as adults in New York State.

In New York State, 16 and 17-year-olds are confined in adult prisons and jails where they are in grave danger. Children in adult jails and prisons face very high rates of sexual assault and rape, physical assaults, attacks with weapons, and can, in some facilities, be held in solitary confinement. Children in adult jails are 36 percent more likely to commit suicide than children in youth detention facilities.

Parents of 16- and 17-year-olds in New York State have no right to be notified if their children are picked up or interrogated by the police. And youth charged as adults do not have access to the rigorous and age-appropriate rehabilitative services that are available in Family Court.

Prosecuting kids as adults can increase crime, including violent crime. A 2007 study comparing youth charged in New York’s adult courts with youth charged with identical crimes in New Jersey’s juvenile courts found New York youth were 100% more likely to re-offend with a violent offense and 26% more likely to be re-incarcerated. When Connecticut moved the majority of the cases of 16- and 17-year-olds out of adult court, arrests plummeted, including for violent crime.   

Facing Time, Facing Future:

Facing Time: Facing Future, a project of the Correctional Association of New York, is comprised of portraits, videos, and stories highlighting the experiences of those most directly impacted by New York’s practice of prosecuting children as adults. Read the booklet here.

These six 90-second videos and accompanying booklet were produced by the Correctional Association of New York in collaboration with the wonderful creative team of Emily Whitfield, Marshall Reese (videographer), and Harry Zernike (photographer and book designer). We would like to thank the Public Welfare Foundation for their support for Facing Time: Facing Future, and the Tow Foundation for their continuing commitment to this issue.

Anjie talks about how a criminal record greatly damages a young person's chance for a successful future.

Jim's experience highlights the need to provide supportive and safe alternatives to incarceration for young people.

Jordyn shares her experience as a teacher at Rikers Island and how young people's dreams can be stifled and deferred.

Incarcerated as a youth, Nurideen describes why prison is no place for a child.

Vanessa describes her fears and recounts the abuse that youth experience in adult facilities.

Ismael describes his experiences as a youth in solitary confinement in an adult jail.

facing time facing future

Take Action

Take Action

Click the "act now" button to contact your elected officials, urging them to pass comprehensive “raise the age” legislation before NY's legislative session ends in June. If we are successful, these vital reforms will get kids out of adult jails and prisons, allow kids opportunities to receive age-appropriate services and effectively re-enter society, and reduce crime.


Get Involved

Advocate online by sharing these stories to voice why Raise the Age is critical  for protecting young people.

New York: #RaiseTheAge Because young people should not grow up in prison. #FacingTimeFacingFuture http://bit.ly/1ESxQrf   

New York: #RaiseTheAge Because all children deserve the help they need. #FacingTimeFacingFuture http://bit.ly/1JjLwlF


New York: #RaiseTheAge Because no child belongs in a box. #FacingTimeFacingFuture http://bit.ly/1ESxQrf


New York: It’s time to #RaiseTheAge Because no child’s dream should be deferred. #FacingTimeFacingFuture http://bit.ly/1ESxQrf


New York #RaiseTheAge Because children’s futures should never be scarred. #FacingTimeFacingFuture http://bit.ly/1ESxQrf


New York #RaiseTheAge. Because no child should wonder if they will die in jail. #FacingTimeFacingFuture http://bit.ly/1ESxQrf

NY is one of only two states in the country that automatically prosecutes 16- and 17-year-olds as adults, with no exceptions. NY houses 16- and 17-year olds in adult jails and prisons, where they are at grave risk of suicide, rape, and physical abuse, and  may, in some facilities, be held in solitary confinement. Help us #RaiseTheAge of criminal responsibility in NYS: http://bit.ly/FacingTimeFacingFutureCA


Resources on Raise the Age

  • Link to Governor’s press release following tour of Greene Correctional facility, where a significant number of youth are held. 
  • Article in Timesunion.com following Raise the Age Campaign press conference in Long Island, featuring Anjie Wadlington, one of the youths involved in the Facing Time Facing Future video project.  

  • From North Country Public Radio: Support Grows for Keeping Teens Out of NY Prisons  

Learn More

The Correctional Association

The Correctional Association of New York (“the CA”) is an independent, non-profit organization founded by concerned citizens in 1844 and granted unique authority by the New York State Legislature to inspect prisons and report its findings and recommendations to the legislature, the public and the press. Through monitoring, research, public education and policy recommendations, the CA strives to make the administration of justice in NYS more fair, efficient and humane. 


Raise the Age New York is a public awareness campaign that includes national and local advocates, youth, parents, law enforcement and legal representative groups, faith leaders, and unions that have come together to increase public awareness of the need to implement a comprehensive approach to raise the age of criminal responsibility in NYS so that the legal process responds to all children as children and services and placement options better meet the rehabilitative needs of all children and youth.