77th Annual Meeting

SUPPORT THE YOUTH PRISON REDUCTION THROUGH OPPORTUNITIES, MENTORING, INTERVENTION, SUPPORT AND EDUCATION ACT (YOUTH PROMISE ACT)

WHEREAS, The U. S. Conference of Mayors is committed to ensuring that youth lead productive, safe, healthy, gang-free and law-abiding lives; and

WHEREAS, gang crime has taken a toll on a number of urban communities, and senseless acts of gang-related violence have imposed economic, social and human costs; and

WHEREAS, the use of a wide range of evidence-based and promising programs, offered under the auspices of a broad-based and informed collaborative of social services, schools and education programs, health and mental health organizations, Boys and Girls Clubs, law enforcement, faith-based organizations and other public and private entities working with at-risk youth in a community, has been demonstrated to prevent and reduce youth violence, delinquency and crime and keep communities safer; and

WHEREAS, criminal justice costs have become overwhelming in many communities throughout the United States, preventing necessary investments in educational, economic development, social, child and family development, mental health, and related services; and

WHEREAS, the investment in evidence-based and promising prevention and intervention programs for children and youth, including quality early childhood programs, comprehensive education programs including school, summer school, and after school and summer recreational programs, mentoring, health and mental health, substance abuse prevention and treatment, job training and other prevention and intervention programs, has been shown to lead to decreased youth arrests, decreased delinquency, lower recidivism, and greater financial savings from an educational, economic, social and criminal justice perspective; and

WHEREAS, evidence-based and promising prevention and intervention practices have been proven to build individual, family and community strength and resiliency; and

WHEREAS, investment in youth and communities holds the promise of making U.S. cities safer and stronger economically, environmentally and socially; and

WHEREAS, the Youth PROMISE Act establishes a PROMISE Advisory Council to assist the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in:

  • Assessing and developing standards and evidence-based and promising practices to prevent juvenile delinquency and criminal street gang activity; and

  • Collecting data in designated geographic areas to assess the needs and existing resources to prevent and address juvenile delinquency and criminal street gang activity; and

WHEREAS, the Youth PROMISE Act authorizes grants for local governments in cities throughout this country to:

  • Plan, assess and implement plans for evidenced-based and promising programs to prevent and intervene in juvenile delinquency and criminal street gang activities to redirect involved youth; and

  • Hire and train law enforcement officers as youth-oriented police to work in collaboration with local PROMISE Coordinating Councils, community-based organizations and youth at risk of or involved in delinquency or criminal street gang activity; and

  • Create and expand juvenile witness and victim protection programs,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that by the adoption of this resolution, the United States Conference of Mayors affirms its support for the Youth PROMISE Act and calls upon the United States Congress to enact the Youth PROMISE Act in the 111th Congress.