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Issue Position: Crime Prevention Programs

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Have you or anyone you know ever been the victim of a crime??? In the society in which we live the answer is undoubtedly….yes. Crime is a significant threat to every resident in our community, while it is true that in some areas of our community crime is on the decrease, it is of little comfort to those that are the victims of those criminal acts. What does provide some comfort for the victims are efforts that are aimed at lessening the impact of criminal activities in our neighborhoods. 10% of Florida 's State Budget is spent on corrections. Florida is 10th in the nation with over 3000 inmates per 100k residents that are currently incarcerated. As a nation, our spending on corrections has increased by 127% while spending on education only rose by 21%. Are you ready to make a difference in your community? As your state representative for District 108, I gladly accept that challenge. Crime reduction and safer neighborhoods- initiatives to combat crime with preventative measures.

THE JUVENILE JUSTICE AND DELINQUENCY PREVENTION ACT REQUIRES STATES TO COMPLY WITH A SET OF BEST PRACTICES AIMED AT AVOIDING THE UNNECESSARY DETENTION AND INCARCERATION OF YOUNG PEOPLE IN FACILITIES JUVENILE AND ADULT

THE JUVENILE JUSTICE AND DELINQUENCY PREVENTION ACT REQUIRES STATES TO COMPLY WITH A SET OF BEST PRACTICES AIMED AT AVOIDING THE UNNECESSARY DETENTION AND INCARCERATION OF YOUNG PEOPLE IN FACILITIES JUVENILE AND ADULT

The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), first enacted in 1974, provides federal funding to states that comply with a set of best practices aimed at avoiding unnecessary detention and incarceration of young people in juvenile and adult facilities. For more than 35 years, the JJDPA has protected youth involved in the juvenile justice system. Since the last reauthorization of the JJDPA, many research advancements have been made in "what works" in the juvenile justice field, including new scientific research regarding adolescent development and the brain. However, the current JJDPA law does not reflect this research and is currently three years overdue for reauthorization. To include provisions that includes the following:

*Keeps pre-trial youth under the age of 18 out of adult jails and lock-ups and in more humane juvenile justice facilities, regardless of being tried in adult or juvenile court;

*Continues to allow States that choose to keep youth convicted of adult crimes in juvenile facilities without facing a federal penalty;

*Ends the practice of locking up status offenders (i.e. youth who have run away or are truant);

*Protects youth locked up in juvenile detention and corrections facilities by encouraging States to improve how youth are treated in these facilities, including eliminating the use of dangerous practices, such as restraining youth to fixed objects, choking youth, and administering psychotropic medications to youth for purposes of coercion, punishment or convenience of staff;

*Provides States with concrete guidance on how to reduce the disproportionate involvement of racial and ethnic minority youth with the juvenile justice system; and

*Incentives States to continue to work toward best practices in the juvenile justice and go above and beyond the JJDPA requirements. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved of and passed S. 678, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2009, out of the Committee in December 2009 with bipartisan support. S. 678 make meaningful improvements that expand several of the core requirements and are a significant step towards improving JJDPA. We are now awaiting the House Education and Labor Committee to introduce, hold hearings on, and move similar legislation


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