As part of New York’s legislation, teens under 18-year-old have been removed from Rikers Island and transported to juvenile facilities as part of the state’s “Raise The Age” law. On Monday (Oct. 1) Mayor Bill de Blasio called the move “historic.”
“This is a historic moment for criminal justice reform and another step toward replacing Rikers Island with smaller, safer, more humane facilities that are closer to communities and loved ones.” de Blasio said.
The state will close Rikers Island by 2027 and transfer inmates to smaller community jails across New York’s five boroughs.
The law was approved by Gov. Cuomo and took effect Monday, which states 16-year-olds accused of crimes are to be treated as juveniles and not adults. The law reportedly extends to 17-year-olds on Oct. 1, 2019.
“By raising the age of criminal responsibility, New York is putting an end to an injustice that falls disproportionately on people of color and once again proving that we are the progressive beacon for the nation. In New York, we will never stop fighting for a more equal and more just society for all,” Cuomo said.
According to Metro News, the teen have been transferred from Rikers Island to the Horizon Juvenile Detention Center in the South Bronx.