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Cárdenas Says Vote on Juvenile Justice Act a Major Milestone

Sep 22, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Tony Cárdenas (CA-29) today issued the following statement in response to the U.S. House of Representatives’ vote on the Supporting Youth Opportunity and Preventing Delinquency Act (H.R. 5963), to reauthorize the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Act, which passed with a vote of 382 to 2. The act, which was originally introduced by the Education and Workforce Committee, garnered support from both Republicans and Democrats. Congressman Cárdenas is one of twenty cosponsors.

“I applaud the Education and Workforce Committee, including my good friend and colleague Rep. Bobby Scott, for getting the Supporting Youth Opportunity and Preventing Delinquency Act voted on and passed,” said Congressman Cárdenas. “This act, which includes language that I submitted, is a major step in the right direction towards reforming our juvenile justice system. I am particularly grateful that the bill includes my community-based gang intervention bill, to help gang-involved youth, and phases out the incarceration of status offenders, which I have pushed for years.”

Representative Cárdenas has been one of the most outspoken and active members of Congress on the topic of juvenile justice, as evidenced by his Prohibiting Detention of Youth Status Offenders Act and his Community-Based Gang Intervention Act, both of which are incorporated in H.R. 5963, and the Schiff-Cárdenas Crime Prevention Act of 2000, which he introduced while serving in the California State Assembly.

Congressman Cárdenas went on to say, “Growing up, I saw the devastating impacts that time in a traditional detention center can have on children and their surrounding communities. That is why I have been championing juvenile justice reform since I started in public service some twenty years ago. I am very pleased to see that these issues are starting to become priority at the federal level. Our youth is our future, and we need to ensure that children across America are receiving the best chance at a good life and not being labeled or treated as criminals for minor status offenses such as not making their bed. This bill helps communities all over the nation embrace a new way of helping kids that doesn’t involve locking them up and throwing away the key.”

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