Protect children during custodial police interrogation | 2023 NYS Legislative Agenda

The City Bar supports legislation to protect children during custodial police interrogation. Youth are uniquely vulnerable to making an unknowing, unintelligent, or involuntary waiver of their Miranda rights and of providing unreliable confessions. The proposed legislative amendment defines key terms in the current law and provides additional safeguards to protect the Constitutional rights of children. The amendment defines when the police must contact the youth’s parent or guardian and requires that a youth subjected to custodial interrogation first consult an attorney. New York’s current interrogation law fails to protect children, despite their well-known vulnerabilities, as recognized by passage of recent legislative reforms, such as Raise the Age, that center on where a young person is in their development in approaches to public safety. The effect of New York’s current approach is disproportionately visited upon Black and Latinx youth subject to custodial interrogations. New York’s youth justice system continues to be marked by deep racial and ethnic disparities from arrest to case resolution. An attorney can assist youth in understanding their legal rights and the potential consequences of waiving those rights.

– New for 2023 –