Brooklyn launches misdemeanor court for young adults
The Brooklyn District Attorney's Office is creating a young adult court to handle 16- to 24-year-olds charged with minor offenses.
The decision is being billed as the first of its kind in New York and only the second in the nation.
The District Attorney's Office says it plans to do more for young adults with its new court, which includes matching participants with age-appropriate treatment and services and assigning a team and judge to handle the cases.
"Some of the reasons people are court involved for 16 to 25 years old is because of the impulsivity of youth and adolescence, and it's an impulsive act, but it's really not indicative of criminality," says Lisa Salvatore, of Brooklyn Defender Services.
Salvatore says young people who make one mistake do not deserve to have their lives ruined.
"They might not get into the college they want. They might not get the job they want and you're shrinking their world. By securing that they don't have a criminal record, we're opening their world," says Salvatore.