Legal Aid Society


LAS Calls on Cuomo to Sign Bill Barring Arrest of Children Under Twelve

The Legal Aid Society called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to enact recently-passed legislation that would undo a 1909 law and bar the arrest and prosecution of children under the age of 12 – except criminally negligent homicide cases, as reported by Juvenile Justice Information Exchange.

Lisa Freeman, Director of the Special Litigation and Law Reform Unit for The Legal Aid’s Society Juvenile Rights Practice, called the legislation “an effort to level the playing field…and make that treatment fair across the board.”

“Elementary school children do not understand what it means to be charged with a crime,” said Freeman. “Science has shown that if you treat children as criminals they are more likely to wind up engaging in criminal behavior.”