An act to amend the criminal procedure law and the social services law,
in relation to ensuring that parents and guardians of youth up to age 19
are notified when their child is arrested
In the event a juvenile offender or adolescent offender, or youth is
arrested or issued an appearance ticket, this legislation seeks to
ensure that parents are notified of such an occurrence and their child's
whereabouts, unless doing so would endanger the child. The bill also
proposes other measures to ensure that arrested youth are safe, and that
a parent and/or another responsible adult is involved in the overall
arrest and resolution process.
Sections 2, 3, and 4 amend various sections of the criminal procedure
law. These sections require that when a youth that is at least sixteen
but younger than nineteen is arrested and/or issued an appearance tick-
et, the police officer who has arrested the youth to immediately notify
a parent, or other person legally responsible for the youth, that he or
she has been arrested and the location of where the youth is being
detained. This requirement is waived if the arrested person is a juve-
nile offender or if contacting a parent or guardian would endanger the
If a parent or other person legally responsible for the youth cannot be
contacted, the police officer must issue an appearance ticket and
release' the youth to an adult family member or unrelated adult who is
at least twenty-five years old. If there is no available person to whom
the youth can be released, the police officer must release the youth
with an appearance ticket and inform him or her that he or she may
request a ride home, or if it appears that the youth is a "sexually
exploited child," he or she can be driven to a "short-term safe house."
Additionally, section 3 requires that an officer must issue an appear-
ance ticket. and release the youth in the same manner described above
if: (1) he or she has been arrested for a non-violent class B, C, or B
felony, and the local criminal court is unavailable, or (2) the arrest
is for something other than an A, B, C, or B felony or other specified
offenses. Section 5 amends subdivisions 1 and 2 of section 447-a of the
social services law by expanding the definition of "sexually exploited
child" to include any person under the age of nineteen. A "sexually
exploited child," as defined in subdivision one of section 447-a of the
social services law, is a child under the age of nineteen who has been
subject to sexual exploitation either because he or she (1) is the
victim of sex trafficking, (2) engages in prostitution, (3) is a victim
of the crime compelling prostitution, or (4) engages in any acts under
article 263 of the penal code that includes the use of a child in, or
the promotion or possession of, a child in a sexual performance; or in
any acts under section 240.37 of the penal law, loitering for the
purpose of engaging in a prostitution offense. Currently, the social
services law allows such a child to be brought to a "short-term safe
house" following an arrest. This legislation would include persons under
the age of nineteen in order to allow eighteen year-olds to have access
to the "short-term safe house" as well.
New York is one of only two states in our nation to set the age of crim-
inal responsibility at sixteen. For certain crimes, a child as young as
thirteen could be adjudicated as an adult as well.
This means that childhood decisions will have a devastating effect on
the lives of many young men and women. As a beacon of progressive think-
ing on most other issues, New York must be on par with the rest of the
nation and raise the age of criminal responsibility.
However, in the meantime, New York must at least take a step in the
right direction. Currently, since teens age sixteen and up are consid-
ered adults in the eyes of the law, their parents are not notified upon
arrest. Although the arrested person has a right to make a phone call,
there is no guarantee that they will contact their parents. This leaves
many parents worried when their child does not return home.
This bill would require for a police officer to notify the parents when
a teenager is arrested or issued an appearance ticket, unless doing so
would put the teen in danger. Furthermore, if the parent or legal guard-
is unavailable, the police officer is required to contact another
adult; if no adult is available, the officer must give the teen a ride
home upon request. In the case of a "sexually exploited child," the
officer may give the teen a ride to a "short-term safe house" instead of
to their home.
This legislation is important as it protects our children and will give
peace of mind to parents. New York must take this first step on the long
road toward raising the age of criminal responsibility.
2019-20: S733 (Senator Montgomery) - Referred to Codes.
2021-22: S4054/A7497 (Bichotte Hermelyn) - Referred to Codes.
To be determined.
This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeeding the
date on which it shall have become a law.

Statutes affected:
S2754: 150.20 criminal procedure law