Clergy members support ‘Raise the Age’ campaign
Clergy members made a renewed push Tuesday to raise the age of criminal responsibility for young non-violent offenders.
New York state is currently one of only two states where 16- and 17-year-olds can be prosecuted as adults.
The clergy members from Suffolk County stood together to demand state lawmakers support the "Raise the Age" campaign.
"Raising the age would reform New York's juvenille justice system to create better outcomes for youth and for public safety," said the Rev. Margaret Allen.
The clergy members also sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, who previously voiced his opposition to Raising the Age.
The group also wants teens to be jailed separately from adult inmates, and to be given full access to support programs.
A spokesman for Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas said she broadly supports the proposed changes. He said Nassau already has a pilot program to make sure juveniles are treated differently than adults.
A spokesman for Suffolk DA Tom Spota said that Spota doesn't currently support the bill to "raise the age."
There has been no comment from Sen. Flanagan's office.