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New York Lawmakers Push To Raise Age Of Criminal Responsibility

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- New York lawmakers are pushing to raise the age of criminal responsibility in the state from 16 to 18.

Advocates and lawmakers argue the adolescent brain is not yet fully formed, is prone to impulsivity and is not suited to weighing consequences.

Rockland State Sen. David Carlucci says the evidence is clear, rehabilitation beats incarceration.

"We've seen it just over the border in Connecticut," Carlucci said. "They raised the age of criminal responsibility, now they are talking about proposals of going higher than 18 and taking it to 21 because their data has been so successful."

He said putting kids in prison just breeds more criminality.

"The recidivism rate at that young age just skyrockets so we know if we can divert non-violent felons to rehabilitation instead of incarceration that will make a world of difference," Carlucci said.

Former New York Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman said he would like to see a "hybrid court that puts the best features of family court and the criminal court together, protecting children and ensuring that the interests of the child comes first."

Only New York and North Carolina automatically prosecute 16 and 17 year olds as adults.

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