Following the Newtown shootings, the President assigned the Vice President with the Task Force to Reduce Gun Violence. We just sent the included letter to Vice President Biden asking him to include violence prevention and the Youth PROMISE Actin his recommendations. VP Biden will announce his recommendations on Tuesday.
To: Honorable Vice President Joseph Biden
c/o Task Force to Reduce Gun Violence
The White House
As you are considering measures to prevent more mass shootings and violence in our country, we stand with you in calling for comprehensive solutions. Sensible gun laws are a critical component, as are preventative and restorative intervention promulgated in the Youth PROMISE Act (Youth Prison Reduction Through Opportunities, Mentoring, Intervention, Support and Education Act), which will be reintroduced in Congress early this year.
We urge President Obama and you to keep front and center the important work of preventative and restorative interventions that engage and empower our youth to constructively respond to conflict and violence. These programs save lives and money.
Beyond the mass shootings that are justifiably getting so much attention, many of our neighborhoods across the nation are essentially war zones, in which children are faced daily with horrific levels of homicide and violence, and suffer the same kind of post-traumatic stress as our soldiers returning from war.
Local communities across the country are already taking the lead in developing and implementing innovative, evidence-based prevention and intervention practices that engage and divert at-risk youth proactively before they slip into cycles of violence, incarceration and despair. These community-based practices have been shown to reduce rates of violence more effectively and at a substantially lower cost than criminal enforcement and incarceration. But their current reach is limited by vastly inadequate and sporadic funding,
We believe the Youth PROMISE Act will help greatly in meeting this challenge, empowering communities by building on local strengths to invest in what works. The Act makes an unprecedented investment in evidence-based, locally designed and run prevention & intervention practices that engage and divert at-risk youth proactively.
Our youth deserve to know that we have their backs. Please make the Youth PROMISE Act a critical part of your recommendations.