Block the "Try Children As Adults" Bill (fwd)

P. Myers (mpwr@u.washington.edu)
Sat, 20 Dec 1997 13:45:42 -0800 (PST)


Followup-To: alt.activism.d

Date: Fri Dec 19 10:07:15 1997
To: CERJ_USA_Action@cerj.org
From: jvw@together.net
Subject: Block the 'Try Children As Adults' Bill!

This is forwarded -- originally from the Childrens' Defense Fund --
by CERJer Cyndi Miller in Vermont.  Please consider this an explicit
request that you consider political action to defeat or significantly
amend this United States Congressional bill.  A House version has been
*passed* and the bill has moved to the Senate, hence its designation
as S.10.  CERJ is given to understand that in addition to the
reprehensible pressure the Feds are putting on the state to try
children as adults, another major shortcoming of this bill is that
no provisions currently exist for federal funds distributed under the
provisions this bill to be optionally diverted from prisons to the
establishment of alternatives to incarceration, including Restorative
Justice programming.  Underlying all of these concerns is the fact that
this is a BIG prison construction bill.  Morally, it deserves defeat
for that reason alone.  It is also a bill whose *perhaps* unintended
effect (with Jesse Helms one never knows) will be to create more
structural and institutional racism -- particularly against children
in low-income minority ethnic groups.  In the USA, CERJ supports a
moratorium on the building of new prisons and the forming of legislative
initiatives to study Restorative Justice programming.  Please act.

- John Wilmerding      <jvw@together.net>      http://www.cerj.org

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Call or Visit Your Senators & Urge Them to Vote No on S.10

The vote on the Violent and Repeat Juvenile Offender Act of 1997 (S.
10) has been delayed and will take place sometime after Congress
returns to Washington at the end of January. The Senate must be urged
to vote no. If S. 10 becomes law, more children will be thrown into
jails and prisons with adults, and there will be weaker restrictions
separating the adults from the children inside jails and prisons.
Runaways and truants will be held for longer periods of time, and
there will not be any money set aside for prevention. This bill does
little to prevent gun violence or encourage localities to replicate
successful enforcement initiatives.

While Congress is out on recess, there are several steps you can take
to join efforts to oppose S. 10 in its current form, and to support
amendments to improve the bill:

   1.Call or visit your Senators while they are home to urge them to
vote NO on S. 10 as currently drafted. Ask them to vote yes on
amendments to keep children out of adult jail.

   2.Write a letter to the editor of your local paper voicing your
opposition to S. 10 and to children in jail with adults.

   3.Advocates who work with youth in local violence prevention
efforts should invite their Senators to visit their programs to see
the value of prevention and what is working to stop youth violence.

John Wilmerding, Gen'l Secretary |  EMail   <jvw@together.net>
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