With less than 100 days remaining on the 114th Congress’ legislative calendar, time is running out for Congress to come together to protect our children and our communities with the passage of S.1169 for JJDPA reauthorization.
On Wednesday, May 18th, appropriators in the House of Representatives will meet to work on the House proposal and we encourage them to follow the lead of their Senate colleagues and ensure the law is adequately funded.
Years of research have shown that incarcerating a child for a status offense creates trauma and can increase the likelihood of future risky or even criminal behavior. Legislators, young leaders, and advocates came together to call on Congress to reauthorize the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention act (JJDPA).
A few years ago my colleague, James Bolas, the Executive Director of the Coalition for Homeless Youth (http://www.nychy.org), told me there were rumblings that suggested RHY programs had not sufficiently demonstrated whether and how they affect the lives of the young people they serve.
Each year, more than 7,000 cases result in girls and boys being placed behind bars for behaviors like skipping school, coming home after curfew, and running away from home. Research has shown that this practice is costly and dangerous. This response costs taxpayers nearly $241 per day, per child.