Yuval Sheer Featured Speaker at PLI Annual Children’s Law Institute

Posted: August 19th, 2013 | by Yuval Sheer

On July 29, 2013, Yuval Sheer, the Center’s Deputy Director, presented at the PLI’s 16th Annual Children’s Law Institute. Mr. Sheer’s presentation was part of a panel titled: Reforming New York’s Juvenile Justice System to Reflect the Needs of the Youth and the Needs of the Community.

Panel members included moderator Hon. Clark V. Richardson of the Manhattan Family Court, Jacqueline Sherman, Associate Commissioner of the Office of Youth and Family Development, and Jacqueline B. Deane, Director of Delinquency Training and Practice at The Legal Aid Society. Ms. Sherman provided an overview of the implementation of New York’s landmark Close to Home legislation. Ms. Deane also examined the Close to Home legislation as well as efforts to raise the age in New York.

During his presentation, Yuval Sheer discussed New York’s low age of criminal responsibility. He also highlighted the crucial features of the Family Court Act which are absent from the Criminal Procedure Law, including expanded dispositional authority of judges, the capacity to divert cases without court intervention, the holding of youth in facilities designed for juvenile delinquents, and the absence of a criminal record at the conclusion of the Family Court process. Mr. Sheer explained that by applying an outdated adult criminal law standard to so many of New York’s children, our state misses thousands of opportunities each year to effectively address the issues that led to a youth’s arrest in the first instance. The current policy seriously frustrates efforts to offer children meaningful opportunities to recover from mistakes made at a young age.


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