WASHINGTON, DC (March 13, 2013) - The National Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention Coalition (NJJDPC) released its report and recommendations, "Promoting Safe Communities," to congress.
In the 22-page report the organization is calling on congress to support effective systems of justice for our youth by focusing on the following five areas:
- Restore federal leadership in the Juvenile Justice Policy - Recommendations include federal leadership be restored and for congress to provide the clear direction and resources needed to facilitate beneficial reforms.
- Support and prioritize prevention, early intervention and diversion strategies - Studies show that taxpayers prefer to sponsor programs that promote prevention, education and rehabilitation over prosecution and incarceration.
- Ensure safety and fairness for court-involved youth and remove youth from the adult criminal system - The Bureau of Statistics reported that 1-in-8 juveniles detained in a facility has experienced abuse including: sexual assault by staff, hog-tying, shackling, isolation and pepper spray. The report says that accountability, "regardless of the offense," should not include abuse, mental health deterioration or death while youth in a juvenile facility, adult jail or prison.
- Support youth reentry - An estimated 100,000 people under the age of 18 have left secure facilities only to turn around and reenter the system. The report says, "Youth are often discharged from care back to families struggling with domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and unresolved mental health disabilities." Also highlighted is the issue of public safety being compromised when the released youth is not afforded necessary planning and supportive services.
NJJDCP"s full report and recommendations can be viewed at: http://promotesafecommunities.org/images/pdfs/NJJDPC_RecstoCongress_03122013_web.pdf?utm_source=Copy+of+NJJDP+Report+-Congress&utm_campaign=WNR+2-8-2013&utm_medium=email
A petition was created to get some additional attention. Please sign the petition electronically by clicking on the this link: http://www.change.org/petitions/congress-email-your-u-s-representative-with-a-note-and-copy-of-report?utm_source=guides&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=petition_created
A simple click could make such a huge difference in a child's life.
Each year approximately 1 million people under the age of 18 are arrested, 70,000 are in a youth secure confinement center, 10,000 are held in adult jails and approximately 250,000 of these juveniles are tried as adults. http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/table-32
"The juvenile justice system across the U.S. is in urgent need of reform, and federal leadership is necessary to advance the pace of change. Congress has the unique opportunity to reverse this trend and promote and support evidence-based practices and policies that prevent delinquency," said Liz Ryan CEO and founder of The Campaign for Youth Justice. "It is our hope that the 113th Congress accepts these proposed recommendations to create better outcomes for our youth, as well as our communities."
The juvenile justice systems across the United States are in desperate need of advocates who will help speed up the pace of change.
Urge your congressional representative to implement the recommendations that have been made by emailing a note asking to support NJJDPC's recommendations and be sure to attach a copy of the full report with your email.
The Campaign for Youth in Justice is an organization that is aware of the daily horrors children and teenagers all over the United States who have been involved with the judicial system face.
The goal is to rehabilitate and teach children and teenagers who violate the law, not to abuse them.
For more information please visit the website http://www.campaignforyouthjustice.org/ and/or Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/nationaljuvenilejusticenetwork?ref=ts&fref=ts