Being involved in, accused of, or affected by a crime doesn’t have to keep you from following the path that you want to be on. Check out the resources below to get connected to support and opportunities around the City, better understand your case, or find help if you have been impacted by a crime.
Resources & Opportunities
No matter your future goals or past experiences, NYC has resources to help you get where you want to be. Whether you want access to jobs or academic help, are looking to get involved in the community, or need someone to talk to, you can find free support around the City or in your community.
Internships & Work
Advance & Earn helps youth increase reading and math skills to take high school equivalency tests and get job training, certifications, and paid internships.
If you’re accused of committing a crime, you can learn more about the juvenile or criminal justice process and your rights while you go through it below.
Youth (7 – 17)
In New York City, most youth ages 7 – 17 who are arrested and prosecuted are tried as juvenile delinquents in Family Court. This includes 16- and 17-year-olds arrested for less serious crimes (misdemeanors), with a few exceptions.
Youth ages 16 and 17 who are arrested for more serious crimes (felonies) will begin the process in the newly created Youth Part. Many of these cases will be transferred to Family Court after a judge reviews them. Youth ages 13 – 17 accused of committing a very serious crime may be tried as a Juvenile Offender in NYC’s adult courts (Supreme or Criminal Court).
Possible Outcomes If you’re under 18 and get arrested, your case could lead to many different outcomes. It might be dismissed before going to trial, adjusted or diverted (settled outside of court), or sent to court. If a Family Court judge hears your case and finds you responsible for the crime you’re accused of, they will decide on one of the following outcomes:
Conditional Discharge & Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal The court may send you home without placing you on Probation, but the judge might order you to follow certain conditions.
Alternatives-to-Placement If Family Court sends you back to the community, you may be referred to an alternative-to-placement program, which provides services at home. Examples of programs include:
Probation The judge might place you on Probation. You will be assigned a Probation Officer, who will meet with you and help you follow conditions ordered by the judge.
Placement In some cases, the judge might decide it’s better for you to live outside of your home and order a “placement.” Placements can either be in non-secure facilities (“group homes”) or limited secure facilities. In placement, you will continue to go to school.
Young Adults (18 – 24)
Youth 18 and older who are accused of committing a crime are tried as adults. If the NY court system considers you an adult and you have been arrested, you can learn more about the steps of adult cases on the New York State Courts website.
Possible Outcomes Not every arrest leads to a criminal case, and there are many possible outcomes if you get arrested. If prosecutors do charge you and you plead guilty or are found guilty, the judge will decide on a sentence. Sentences can range from conditional discharge (release under certain conditions) and probation to fines and prison or jail time, or a combination.
If you have an open case, you can also ask your attorney about alternative-to-incarceration (ATI) programs, which offer rehabilitation and support services outside of jail or prison. Examples of programs include:
Common Justice: A program for youth with violent felonies to take part in circles and make agreements about how to make things “as right as possible”
Court Employment Project: A program for youth 15 – 24 facing felony charges with services to help develop skills and access opportunities
You have certain rights that everyone must respect, both outside of and during the justice process. Examples of your rights include:
Miranda rights: If you’re arrested and questioned, you don’t have to speak to law enforcement, you can have a lawyer, and you have the right to get the lawyer free of charge. Police must read the Miranda warning to you before they question you.
The Fair Chance Act: It is illegal for most employers to ask about your criminal record until after they offer you a job.
If you’re in detention, placement facilities, jail, or prison, or you’re coming back to the community, there are many resources in NYC that can help support your transition home.
Education Youth who are in juvenile detention, placement facilities, or adult jail have the right to keep going to school and work towards a high school diploma through the school year that they turn 21.
All students at juvenile justice facilities and Rikers Island should have a Transition Specialist to help with education planning and support them once they return to the community. For more information about your options for school, see the Advocates for Children Guide for Court-Involved Students.
Getting Your Rights Back In some adult criminal cases, a conviction can have “collateral consequences,” outcomes that are not a part of the court sentence that can negatively affect your life. These can include limits on job opportunities, voting rights, student loans, or public benefits, among other impacts.
Video visitation:For New Yorkers—particularly those with young children—the Telestory Video Visitation program allows families to talk, read, and share stories with incarcerated loved ones from libraries in all five boroughs.
Support for Victims of a Crime
If you have been affected by a crime, you can get information and help with expenses related to the crime, referrals to other service providers (including counseling and mental health), and assistance with the legal process. You can find support through: