ALERT: stop juvenile crime bill [ACLU Action Update, 13Aug1998]

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Fri, 14 Aug 1998 12:21:43 -0700 (PDT)


FWD  CC Replies to ACLU <info@aclu.org>
Source: American Civil Liberties Union http://www.aclu.org


     ACLU ACTION UPDATE  -- August 13, 1998


USA/WASHINGTON, D.C.:

Although members of both the Senate and the House are out on recess,
they left behind a number of issues - including a harmful juvenile
justice measure - that may see action when they return in September.

This bill, which was given the alarmist title of the "Violent and Repeat
Juvenile Offender Act of 1997" (S.10), was one of the first bills
offered by the Senate Republican leadership in this Congress.  S. 10
essentially abandons prevention as an option for dealing with youthful
offenders and instead focuses on a host of measures that its supporters
call "tough on crime," like housing offenders as young as 13 with adults
criminal offenders in adult prisons.  In reality, these provisions are
dangerous and undercut the premise on which our juvenile justice system
was founded:  that children are children and can be rehabilitated.

While the House has already passed a juvenile justice bill that contains
many of these same hazardous provisions, effort hve thus far been
successful in keeping this bill from coming to the Senate floor.

However, it is possible that if Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), the
bill's primary advocate, can generate enough support, he may be allowed
to bring the bill up for a vote this fall.  The recent focus on juvenile
crime, such as the conviction of two youth in Arkansas for a schoolyard
shooting and the arrest of two children in Chicago - ages 7 and 8 - for
murder, may add fuel this debate.

ACTION NEEDED:

1. Take action today to keep this juvenile justice bill from moving by
sending a FREE FAX urging your U.S Senators to oppose S. 10.

2. You can also take action by sending a FREE FAX to President Clinton,
urging him to oppose this harmful legislation.

Both faxes can be found on the ACLU web site at:

http://www.aclu.org/action/juvenile.html
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