Counties brace for impacts from hiking age of criminal responsibility | Local News

ALBANY — The recently enacted legislation that boosts New York’s age of criminal responsibility to 18 years old is expected to have broad impacts on multiple agencies within county governments across the state, according to a new analysis of the measure.

A report issued by the New York State Association of Counties last week predicts the “Raise the Age” measure pushed through the Legislature by Gov. Andrew Cuomo will cause probation departments and agencies providing social services and mental health counseling to expand their staffs.

The measure will also require new county investments in local courts, youth detention placement and correctional facilities, the report pointed out.

The intent of the law is to keep younger offenders from having to serve time with adult criminals, thus preventing 16-and 17-year-olds from being placed into county jails.

NYSAC noted that beginning on Oct. 1, 2018, counties must provide a specialized secure detention facility for 16- and 17-year-olds who are in custody for criminal offenses. Under the current law, the counties may contract with one another to share such facilities, the report noted.

The detention facilities will be regulated by the Office of Children and Family Services and the State Commission on Corrections. They must have enhanced security and specially trained staff.

William R. Kehoe, the executive director of the state Sheriffs’ Association, said in an interview that he is concerned that having more than one state agency involved in the oversight of the detention facilities could result in bureaucratic bickering.

“This whole thing was very poorly thought out,” Kehoe said in an interview. “There has been talk of corrective bills, but I don’t see anything moving forward yet.”

NYSAC and the New York State Public Welfare Association are working to help counties prepare for the new…

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