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Youthful Offender Law  Change 11-2-21

To provide eligible youth with an added opportunity to be designated youthful offenders, a new bill amended CPL 720.20 by adding a new subdivision 5. Review may be sought five years after sentence was imposed or the individual’s release from incarceration, whichever is later. Applications must be served on the district attorney, and factors to be considered in reviewing the application are set forth in the statute. L 2021, ch 552 (Effective Nov. 2, 2021).

This change in the law will make a dramatic difference for anyone “who [has been] convicted of a crime when they were under the age of 19, but denied youthful offender status at the time, [he or she] will now be able to re-apply for it under a measure approved Tuesday by Gov. Kathy Hochul.” (“Hochul approves second chance at youthful offender status,” Nick Resiman, Spectrum News 1, Nov. 2, 2021) Governor Hochul said upon signing the legislation into law, “[f]ar too many New Yorkers who made poor choices at a young age are forced to deal with the lifelong consequences of criminal convictions that deny them a second chance at a productive, fulfilling life.”  That is so true! What a step in the right direction!