Children under the age of 12 will no longer face arrest and prosecution for virtually all crimes in New York under a bill signed into law late this week by Gov. Kathy Hochul.
The bill signed by Hochul raises the lower age of the state’s jurisdiction for juvenile delinquency, a move that will prevent those under the age of 12 from arrest except in the case of a homicide.
When the new law takes effect in a year, the lower age will be increased to 12. It’s a move that many criminal justice reform advocates had been pushing for years, noting that children of color are affected at a disproportionate rate.
Across the state, at least 800 children under the age of 12 were arrested by police in 2019, according to the Legal Aid Society. In New York City, about 90% were Black or Hispanic.
Every gang in New York is gonna rush to recruit 10 and 11-year-old kids to be drug mules, traffic illegal guns, and shoplift.
It’s going to be off the wall violence and criminality by children.
But fewer kids will be in juvie so New York will consider it a win.