The following is an email submitted on behalf of Livingston County Sheriff Thomas Dougherty and Livingston County District Attorney Greg McCaffrey to the GeneseeSun.com for publication. The attitudes and ideas expressed below should not be interpreted as the opinion of the GeneseeSun.com.
An important piece of the budget that our Assembly and Senate will be voting on in the very near future entails a ‘Raise the Age’ initiative. Livingston County District Attorney Greg McCaffrey and Livingston County Sheriff Thomas J. Dougherty are encouraging constituents to contact their state leaders today and encourage them to vote no on raising the age of criminal liability.
New York State already has a way for 16 and 17 year old offenders to navigate through the criminal justice system without long lasting implications. Those programs include youthful offender provisions, diversion programs, drug rehabilitation initiatives and educational opportunities. If the offender can change their behavior and not commit a new crime(s), there are no long lasting negative impacts on the offender for most offenses.
This important piece of possible legislation should be examined carefully and decided with the upmost consideration that it deserves due to the long lasting impacts if passed. It should not be presented and voted on in a manner that is combined with several other bills through the budget process.
If passed, the current bill will provide little to no funding for counties; creating another unfunded mandate on our Sheriff’s Offices, Probation Departments and Family Courts. The financial burdens cannot be accurately stated due to so many unknowns that have yet to be clarified in the proposal. Though the specific dollar amount is unknown, it is well known that the proposal will be a significant cost to local taxpayers.
This bill will negatively impact how the District Attorney’s Office and the Sheriff’s Office conduct their business. It is our opinion that it will directly affect the safety of our county and that is why we write to express our genuine concern.
We are asking you to contact your elected state representatives today and ask them to vote no if the raise the age initiative is included in the budget.
The contact phone numbers and email addresses are provided.
LIVINGSTON COUNTY ELECTED STATE REPRESENSTATIVES CONTACTS:
Senator Cathy Young 518-455-3563 firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Patrick Gallivan 518-455-3471 email@example.com
Assemblyman Joseph Errigo 518-455-5662 firstname.lastname@example.org