This week, Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) introduced S. 1307, the "Youth Prison Reduction through Opportunities, Mentoring, Intervention, Support and Education (PROMISE) Act" in the United States Senate. It is a companion bill H.R. 1318 which was introduced in the U.S. House by Congressman Robert C. "Bobby" Scott (D-VA) and Walter Jones (R-NC) earlier this year.
The Youth PROMISE Act (H.R. 1318/S.1307) will provide resources to communities to engage in comprehensive, evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies to decrease violence, gang crime, illegal drug activity and other crime. Under the Youth PROMISE Act, communities facing the greatest youth gang and crime challenges will each form a local council of representatives from law enforcement, court services, schools, social service organizations, health and mental health providers, the business community, and other public and private community-based organizations, including faith-based organizations. The council will develop a comprehensive plan for implementing evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies for young people who are at-risk of becoming involved, or who are already involved, in gangs, or the criminal justice system to redirect them toward productive and law-abiding alternatives.
"We commend Senator Landrieu and Senator Inhofe for their bipartisan work to introduce the Youth PROMISE Act in the Senate," said Rep. Scott and Rep. Jones. "Our Senate colleagues recognize that investing in evidence- and community-based approaches to delinquency prevention not only saves lives, it saves communities and taxpayers money. As Congress works to rid our communities of violence and to be faithful stewards of the taxpayer's money, it is our hope that more of our colleagues in both the House and Senate will support this legislation and work with us to get it passed in this Congress."
The Youth PROMISE Act has the support of over 300 national, state, and local government, professional, civil rights, education and religious organizations, including the National Association of Counties, the National Conference of Mayors, the Children's Defense Fund, the National Juvenile Justice Network, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, the National Education Association, the NAACP, the American Bar Association, the Coalition for Juvenile Justice, and the Campaign for Youth Justice, amongst others.