Legal Aid Society


LAS Calls to End Arrest, Prosecution of Young Children After Violent Incident

The Legal Aid Society, Brooklyn Defender Services, Bronx Defenders, Queens Defenders and Neighborhood Defenders of Harlem, in response to the violent pepper spraying and handcuffing of a nine-year-old child by officers of the Rochester Police Department, called on Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie to enact legislation.

The Raise the Lower Age Act (S.4051) would raise the minimum age of delinquency jurisdiction from age 7 to 12, ending the arrest and prosecution of children under 12 as delinquents, reports THE CITY.

“Frankly, from my vantage point, this is a no brainer,” said Lisa Freeman, Director of Special Litigation and Law Reform Unit of the Juvenile Rights Practice at The Legal Aid Society. “I think most people if you told them that 7-year-olds could be prosecuted would look at you with complete disbelief. At the same time as we’re trying to reform disciplinary practices in the schools, the idea that an elementary school child could be arrested is absurd.”