Letter: Measure before Congress gives our at-risk kids a fighting chance

January 14, 2014 

When Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday comes each January, some people think, “What’s the big deal?” Anyone with a handicapped child like me knows what the big deal is. The fight for civil rights led toward equality for all — people of color, Native people, women, the handicapped and the LGBT community. Good start, but we’re not done. 

There is now a bipartisan bill currently before both houses of Congress called the Youth PROMISE Act (H.R. 1318 and S.1307). Its purpose is to change the “cradle-to-prison pipeline” for at-risk youth with programs like peer mediation restorative discipline, after-school activities, and restorative justice. Already such programs are working! Yes, it’s another bill that requires funding, but here’s the good part: 1) It costs less than incarceration, 2) It funds only proven practices, 3) It is managed locally, and 4) It is refunded only if it works. But the best part is, at-risk children are given a chance. Please support the Youth PROMISE Act.

“The time is always right to do what is right.” — Martin Luther King Jr.

— Jennifer Carr



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