Congressman Scott is a recognized leader in addressing youth violence. He has sponsored H.R. 2721, the Youth PROMISE Act, which has been endorsed by over 250 local and national organizations representing a broad array of children and youth-oriented specialties including juvenile justice, mental health, civil rights, education, youth work, legal services, and faith communities. Under the Youth PROMISE Act, communities facing the greatest youth gang and crime challenges will be able to develop a comprehensive plan to address youth violence through a coordinated prevention and intervention response. Representatives from local law enforcement, the school system, court services, social services, health and mental health providers, foster care providers, other community and faith-based organizations will form a council to develop a comprehensive plan for implementing evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies. The plans can be funded up to four years. The act also enhances state and local law enforcement efforts regarding youth and gang violence. For more information on the Youth PROMISE Act, please visit: http://bobbyscott.house.gov/ypa.
"Addressing youth violence and reducing crime is not difficult if you use evidenced based approaches," said Congressman Scott. "During my more than 30 years of public service, I have learned that when it comes to crime policy, we have a choice - we can reduce crime or we can play politics. For far too long, Congress has chosen to play politics by enacting poll tested "tough on crime" slogans and sound bites whose impacts range from a negligible reduction in crime to an actual increase in crime. As a result, the United States now has the highest incarceration rate of any nation in the world, a rate so high that the Pew Research Center has calculated that it not only wastes money, it is counterproductive in the fight against crime. All the credible research and evidence shows that a continuum of evidenced-based prevention and intervention programs for at-risk youth will greatly reduce crime and save much more than they cost. I hope to highlight this approach to addressing crime this week in briefings and hearings."