Legal Aid Society


LAS Calls on Lawmakers to Protect Young New Yorkers in the Criminal Legal System

Youth, parents, juvenile justice advocates, elected officials, public defender organizations, faith leaders, and more rallied today to urge lawmakers to prioritize two pieces of critical legislation in the 2023 legislative session – The #Right2RemainSilent bill and The Youth Justice and Opportunities Act – which would provide a developmentally appropriate response to young New Yorkers entangled in the criminal legal system.

#Right2RemainSilent legislation would ensure that young New Yorkers have access to an attorney prior to a police interrogation and The Youth Justice and Opportunities Act Would expand alternatives to incarceration and record sealing for young adults.

“These two bills are critical steps towards furthering justice for youth across our state,” said Dawne Mitchell, Chief Attorney of the Juvenile Rights Practice at The Legal Aid Society. “Building on the success of other needed reforms, we implore Albany lawmakers to prioritize these two bills this upcoming session to reform New York’s punitive juvenile legal system which too often unduly adultifies our clients, youth from communities of color.”