ACLU Praises Youth PROMISE Act Video

May 26, 2010 12:00 am

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WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union today praised a new public education tool produced as part of an effort to gain attention and increase congressional support for a bipartisan bill to combat youth violence. The video, which Congressman Robert “Bobby” Scott (D-VA) will premiere tonight, includes appearances by actress Robin Wright, CEO Russell Simmons, television personality Star Jones, Mayor of Newark, NJ Corey Booker and NFL player Troy Vincent. The video’s premiere tonight will be attended by members of Congress, as well as Wright and Vincent.

The bill, the Youth Prison, Reduction through Opportunities, Mentoring, Intervention, Support and Education Act, known as “Youth PROMISE,” is sponsored by Representative Scott (D-VA) and would fund prevention and intervention programs that are comprehensive, community-centered and evidence-based efforts to combat gangs and youth violence. Though in the Senate the Youth PROMISE Act is still awaiting committee action, the bill was passed by the House Judiciary Committee in December and is awaiting a floor vote by the full House.

The video will premiere at 6 p.m. EDT at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, D.C.

The following can be attributed to Jennifer Bellamy, ACLU Legislative Counsel:

“We need a smarter approach to the complex problem of youth crime and the Youth PROMISE Act will go a long way to help reduce juvenile crime by encouraging early intervention and mentoring. We hope that this video will spread the word about this bill and help it garner the support it needs to become law. There are fiscal and social ramifications of continuing to overzealously imprison our at-risk youth that we simply cannot afford. Congress should move swiftly to pass the Youth PROMISE Act.”

To read the ACLU’s letter of support for the Youth PROMISE Act, go to: www.aclu.org/crimjustice/juv/38839leg20090226.html

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