Youth In Need
There are over 6,455,000 youths under the age of 24 in New York State. That accounts for over 34 percent of the population.
In New York State:
· children and youth (ages birth -17) living below poverty increased from 19.5% (2001) to 22.85 (2011);
· children and youth (ages birth -17) receiving SNAP benefits increased from 747,793 (2005) to 1,208,700 (2012);
· suicide mortality increased from 68 (2004-2006) to 84 (2010-2012);
· the number of persons 16 and older in the labor force and not employed increased from 595,100 (2003) to 737,300 (2013);
· children and youth (ages birth to 17) in indicated reports of abuse/maltreatment increased from 65,121 (2002) to 71,388 (2012);
· about 110,000 youths (7.5% of all youths) per year in 2008-2012 had at least one Major Depressive Episode (MDE) within the year prior to being surveyed for the National Survey on Drug Use and Health;
· about 41,000 youths with MDE (37.7% of all youths with MDE) per year in 2008-2012 received treatment for their depression within the year prior to being surveyed; 62.3% did not; and
· the Youth Bureau system serves 1.5 million children and youth (under the age of 21); almost 5 million children and youth do not have access to services.
In April 2017 Gov. Mario Cuomo signed the Raise the Age (RTA) legislation that raises the age of criminal responsibility to 18. Sixteen and 17-year- olds will no longer automatically be charged as adults. The law will be phased in beginning in October 2018. With this new legislation, most cases involving 16 and 17-year-olds will be heard in Family Court. Criminal justice reform advocates celebrated this new law, prior to which New York was one of only two states (North Carolina being the other one) which tried 16 and 17-year-olds as adults. Now advocates and youth service providers want to make sure that adequate resources are provided for RTA implementation, so that youth diverted from criminal court can get the services they need.