Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark called for adjustments last week to New York’s “Raise the Age” law and other measures to address youth gun violence in the Bronx, which has taken the lives of teens and devastated communities at a pace not seen in the city for decades.
“The Raise the Age Law increased the age for criminal responsibility to 18 and established a Youth Part in Criminal Court,” Clark said. “It was the right decision, since New York was one of only two states to still treat youths as adults, and it was designed to protect their lives. However, since its inception in 2019, we have seen unexpected consequences that do not promote safety in our community. There are 16 and 17-year-olds with guns who are not being held accountable, recidivists are not being detained, and a gap in the law results in a situation where there is no jurisdiction or supervision for youth who turn 18 while their case is pending in Family Court.”