STATEMENT FROM EMILY TOW JACKSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND PRESIDENT OF THE TOW FOUNDATION, ON GOVERNOR CUOMO’S 2015 OPPORTUNITY AGENDA: RAISE THE AGE COMMISSION
New Canaan, CT – By assembling the Commission on Youth, Public Safety and Justice and calling for our recommendations, Governor Cuomo has placed New York State on the path to once again being a leader in youth justice policy.
The Governor and my fellow commissioners know that reforming a large and complex youth justice system is not an easy task, but it is also essential to ensure that New York’s youth have a better chance of success. The Commission’s recommendations are focused on redirecting the state’s resources to a system based on sound research that improves outcomes for youth and protects the most vulnerable among us, while making our communities safer.
The Tow Foundation’s youth justice investments and the work of our partners in Connecticut have evidenced that although reform is challenging, it can result in positive outcomes for youth and communities. If implemented, the Commission’s recommendations will help protect our communities, save taxpayers money, and ensure that young people are held accountable while being treated fairly and in a developmentally appropriate way.
The strategies we have recommended today will have a lasting impact on our youth and their futures. When youth are held accountable, but given a chance to learn from their mistakes, they have the potential for long-term success. And when young people are on a path to a successful future, New York will be safer. We look forward to continuing to work with the Governor to implement the Commission’s recommendations.