Benefits - New York State
In 2001, youth ages 13-17 accounted for 15% of crimes committed in New York State. The State of New York is benefited by our program and programs like it
throughout the state in the following capacities:
- Family Court Costs
- Future Costs in Corrections
- A Follow-Through on Juvenile Justice Prevention
- At-Risk Youth
- Most of Family Court funding is derived from the state
- With the recent change in PINS laws, increasing the number of children eligible for PINS status, only to later make PINS referral to placement facilities significantly greater, Family Court is hearing a significant number of cases.
- Again, youth court aims to provide an alternative where appropriate, so that Family Court can focus on more pressing needs and state money can be used more effectively and wisely.
- From 2004-2005, Family Court had 15,192 petitions filed. Of those, 424 were filed as JDs while 656 as PINS petitions were open. Anything Youth Court can take off their load would enhance their already tremendous service.
- Each of the following humbling statistics serve as a stark reminder that if we hope to alleviate the burden of our state prisons, we must make a substantial effort to target at risk youth, particularly those who have committed their first offense and possess the potential to have their behavior moderated.
- Most prisoners first commit crimes as juveniles
- Most prisoners will re-offend upon their release
- So while substantial resources and funding are poured into the incarceration and rehabilitation process of adult criminals, the reality is that these programs are meaningless without a strong, simultaneous effort to combat juvenile delinquency and deter juvenile behavior
- Youth court strives to relieve this burden by punishing and rehabilitating young offenders while deterring others
- New York State took a great step in granting Byrne Grants to youth court programs throughout the state
- This paved the way for the more than 90 youth court programs in the state
- Unfortunately, as Byrne grants expired, youth court programs faced difficult challenges to find local funding
- New York should see long-term benefits because of statewide youth courts, but it must also fight to ensure that these programs continue
- In 2002, New York had 4,613,251 children under the age of 18, 24% of the state population
- While New York made tremendous progress with youth courts and Byrne grants, nationally, New York ranked in the bottom half of key at-risk indicators such as the percent of teens not attending school or working (tied for 27th in 2001), with no parent with full-time employment (T-38), living in poverty (T-38) and with families headed by a single parent (T-42)
- These statistics clearly indicate the potential dangers we face as a state