Statement from The Fortune Society on the passage of Raise the Age

Monday, April 10, 2017

Statement from JoAnne Page, President and CEO of The Fortune Society, on the passage of Raise the Age

The Fortune Society applauds the passage of Raise the Age, and celebrates the positive impact that this policy change will have on the lives of young people who have gotten tangled in the criminal justice system.

In our 50 years of providing alternatives to incarceration and helping those released from incarceration to build positive lives in the community, The Fortune Society has been saddened by the damage done by treating young people as though they were adults. Both brain science and practical experience teach us that there is a profound difference between the decision-making of adolescents and adults.

Treating young people as juveniles, including utilizing juvenile facilities instead of Rikers Island, accords with best practices and offers these young people a better chance at rebuilding their lives and avoiding further contact with the criminal justice system. We commend the Governor and the legislature for making this long-needed reform.

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