Written by Kathleen Rice, Nassau County District Attorney Thursday, 26 September 2013 00:00I don’t think anyone would disagree with me that there is nothing more important than the futures of our community’s children. Yet, in New York, too many of those futures are being limited and postponed by a state criminal justice system that treats kids – 16- and 17-year-olds – accused of nonviolent crimes like hardened adult criminals.
Forty-eight other states have found these kids worthy of redirection, rehabilitation and age-appropriate intervention. New York’s justice system should follow suit and change the way it handles kids accused of minor, nonviolent offenses.
To treat kids who end up in the criminal justice system as the adults they have yet to become – regardless of the crime committed – is out of line with what we know about adolescent brain development, maturation and decision making. How New York treats these nonviolent offenders is immoral. It’s wrong. And it makes us less safe.
Arresting and jailing nonviolent kids only increases the likelihood that they will miss a job shift or a school class, or that they will be assaulted while in custody – all significant precursors to future criminality. Adult facilities offer fewer of the redirection and rehabilitation opportunities that we know get kids back on paths to success.
The fact is, introducing nonviolent kids to the adult justice system more often opens the door to lives of crime than it does scare kids away from them.
Redirecting nonviolent children away from adult jails, court appearances and sentences doesn’t only make moral and crime-fighting sense, it’s also a smarter use of our tax dollars and our law-enforcement resources. Less crime means less cost to you, me, and our neighbors, and more time for our police to go after violent and repeat offenders.
We can do better. We can provide kids who have committed nonviolent offenses with programs, courtroom settings and punishments that fit their age, their crime and their need for redirection.
This issue shouldn’t be that complicated or controversial. Kids who murder, rob, carry guns, assault or rape should continue to be dealt with by an adult justice system that mirrors the severity of their crimes and protects the public from their threat. But that same system shouldn’t also be leveled against teens accused of minor, nonviolent offenses – those teens we know we have a good chance of redirecting if dealt with thoughtfully.
Reforming the way our state’s justice system handles these nonviolent kids to better reflect what we know about adolescent brain development and curbing recidivism will lead to safer streets and cost savings, and it will prove that our justice system is capable of being both tough and smart when it comes to protecting the public and the future of our community’s most valuable resource.
Friday, 13 December 2013 00:00
After filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the Atlantic Express Bus Company—the major bus contractor for the Farmingdale School District—will soon begin the task of liquidating its assets.
According to Assistant Superintendent Barbara Horsley, the company is currently planning to sell its fleet through an open bidding process, as it prepares to go out of business at the end of the year.
“What we’re doing is making arrangements for students next semester,” Horsley said. “It hasn’t impacted us at all yet.”
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 00:00
This past Fall, Farmingdale village officials approved plans to construct the proposed Staller Project—located at 285 Eastern Parkway in Farmingdale—which will usher in 27 residential housing units. Now, after further discussion with village officials, developers with Staller Associates, Inc. have modified their original renderings to change the once olive-colored facade with steel panels to red brick, to better match the motif of downtown Farmingdale.
After discussing the initial proposal with several residents, some of whom did not feel the cold steel panels were a good fit with some of the surrounding buildings, Farmingdale Mayor Ralph Ekstrand said he contacted the Hauppague-based developers to find a way to better compliment the community.
Thursday, 12 December 2013 00:00
Thirteen male and female student-athletes at Farmingdale High School have signed scholarship letters of intent to continue their academic and athletic careers at prestigious schools around the county. During the “College signing day” ceremony, on Dec. 5, friends, families, faculty, academic advisors, coaches, and parents joined student athletes in support of their collegiate careers.
The following students have signed letters of intent:
Thursday, 12 December 2013 00:00
Franklin Diaz of Farmingdale scored as the third overall finisher in the 21st annual Rob’s Run—a 5-kilometer cross-country style race through Stillwell Woods in Woodbury, hosted by New York Blood Services,
Diaz finished with a total time of 16 minutes and 43 seconds.
After finishing the race, on Dec. 1, Franklin went back out onto the course to run with his nephew Anthony Diaz, who was celebrating his 10th birthday. Anthony finished the run with a total time of 29 minutes and 37 seconds.
534 competitors finished this year’s run which was put together by the Greater Long Island Running Club, in memorium of Rob Lauterborn.