The Center was established by Michael A. Corriero who was a judge for twenty-eight years in the Criminal Courts of the State of New York. For sixteen years, Judge Corriero presided over Manhattan’s Youth Part. The Youth Part is a special court created in the Supreme Court of New York State, designed to focus attention and scarce resources on young offenders prosecuted as adults pursuant to New York State’s Juvenile Offender Law. His court became a model for mobilization and coordination of treatment and social services for children prosecuted in adult courts.
After serving on Governor David Paterson’s task force on transforming New York’s Juvenile Justice System, and his involvement with the case of Qing Hong Wu, a case that demonstrated the potentially disastrous collateral consequences of a youthful conviction, Judge Corriero decided to leave his position as Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City to establish the New York Center for Juvenile Justice.
Through advocacy, education, and implementation, the Center is spearheading an effort to transform the way children under 18 years of age are judged and treated in New York courts, including consideration of a fair and reasonable standard (age) of criminal responsibility. The center has developed and intends to implement strategies that will require children under 18 tried in New York’s courts to be judged as children.