Tuesday, April 16, 2013

JOIN ME TODAY IN SUPPORTING THE "Youth PROMISE Act"

Dear Friends,
I just took action by writing the President and my Members of Congress in support of the Youth PROMISE Act, which was reintroduced recently in Congress. I hope you will check out the information below, and if inspired, write your Members of Congress! This is important. www.youthpromiseaction.org

The Youth PROMISE Act (Youth Prison Reduction Through Opportunities, Mentoring, Intervention, Support and Education Act) is critical bipartisan legislation.

The Youth PROMISE Act will provide our hardest hit communities around the country with the support and funding they need to effectively address youth violence issues.  By specifically focusing on proven or promising violence prevention and smart intervention strategies, this bill ensures we are funding programs that save lives and give every young person the opportunity to meet his or her potential.

Why do we need the Youth PROMISE Act?  Because many neighborhoods across the country could be described as our own war zones.  Our children in particular are faced daily with horrific levels of homicide and violence, and according to social scientists, many suffer the same kind of post-traumatic stress as our soldiers returning from war.  How can we allow this to continue?

Homicide is the second leading cause of death for all youth (the leading cause for African Americans).  All the while, we have the highest levels of incarceration of any nation in the world, with some of the strictest and most punitive oriented laws.  We have only 5% of the world’s citizens, yet have 25% of it’s prisoners.  Clearly our strategies for dealing with the challenges before us are not working, and the consequences are DEVASTATING for those caught in the crossfire.
Please write your Members of Congress today! Tell them to support the Youth PROMISE Act. >>  http://www.youthpromiseaction.org

Local communities across the country are leading the way in developing and implementing innovative, evidence-based prevention and intervention practices that engage and divert at-risk youth proactively -- before they slip into cycles of violence, incarceration and despair.  And, these community-based practices have been shown to reduce rates of violence more effectively and at a substantially lower cost than criminal enforcement and incarceration.

But their current reach is limited by vastly inadequate and sporadic funding, and the absence of a comprehensive framework to engage community stakeholders, evaluate program effectiveness and to collect data and coordinate and share research. The Youth PROMISE Act will help greatly meet this need, empowering communities by building on local strengths to invest in what works.

This Act resonates across the political spectrum because it is community-based, accountable, and replicable.  Local leaders who know their communities best determine which youth and gang violence programs should be given initial funding.  Then, the selected programs must prove they are working in order to receive additional funding, and they are given resources to do so. Finally, those programs that show themselves to be effective best practices can continue, and some may serve as models that can be adapted for use in other communities across the country.
Additional benefits:
  • It will partner with universities as regional research partners;
  • Establish a national resource center for proven juvenile justice practices;
  • It would do this by engaging a wide range of community stakeholders to serve on local PROMISE Coordinating Councils.
  • Much more...
Show our youth that we have their backs.  Learn more and take action now at: http://www.youthpromiseaction.org

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