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'Raise the age for prosecution'


New York is one of two states that prosecute all youth as adults when they turn 16. About 50,000 16- and 17-year-olds are arrested every year in the state and are prosecuted in criminal courts as adults, mostly for minor crimes. The majority are black and Latino. | According to the Children's Defense Fund-NY and The Children's Agenda, that's a major contributor to the cradle-to-prison pipeline. At a recent public meeting, officials from the two child-advocacy organizations asked parents and educators for their support in a "Raise the Age" campaign to get lawmakers to raise the age in New York from 16 to 18. | Numerous studies show that prosecuting children as adults wastes scarce resources and is counterproductive. Instead of rehabilitating children, it houses them with hardened criminals, where they are often sexually and physically abused. Even worse, they learn to be criminals as a way to survive confinement. | Information on the campaign is available from Beth Powers, (212) 697-2323 or