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Law takes 17-year-olds out of adult criminal justice system

New York is taking most 17-year-olds with offenses out of the adult criminal justice system.

The change is effective this month under the second part of 2017 legislation that raised New York’s age of criminal responsibility to 18. The first part of the law addressing most 16-year-olds went into effect last year.

New York had been among the last states that automatically prosecuted 16- and 17-year-olds as adults.

Supporters say incarcerating youth alongside adults is connected with higher suicide rates and increased recidivism. This year’s state budget includes $200 million in funding for programs such as diversion services.

Under the legislation, such young people charged with misdemeanors would have their cases tried in family court proceedings.

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