Home News Center Federal Juvenile Justice Update - March 2021

Federal Juvenile Justice Update - March 2021

March 30, 2021
Melissa C. Goemann

Photo of Use Capitol Building; Headline "Federal Update"

Urge Congress to Make Youth 
Justice a Priority 

As the appropriations process is ramping up, and COVID cases are still high, we must urge Congress to appropriate strong JJDPA funding to help prevent justice involvement and help those in the system return safely home. Here is what you can do now:  

  • Ask your organization to sign onto Act4JJ’s letter to congressional appropriations leaders asking them to fully fund critical juvenile justice and delinquency prevention programs for Fiscal Year 2022. To sign on to the letter click here.  

  • Take this action telling Congress to support JJDPA funding.

George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021 

The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021, H.R. 1280, passed the House on March 3rd but has not yet been taken up by the Senate. The bill addresses a number of issues, including  chokeholds, qualified immunity for law enforcement, and creating national standards for policing in order to bolster accountability.  However, many advocates believe it is inadequate. The Movement for Black Lives opposed the bill because it focuses on reforms that have failed to center marginalized communities and does not address the root causes that have led to police violence and terror against communities of color. It was also opposed by the Center for Disability Rights and thirty-one other organizations because it fails to achieve meaningful accountability for law enforcement’s violation of people’s rights. They requested specific amendments that included full elimination of qualified immunity to all governmental actors--not just law enforcement--to ensure accountability; elimination of law enforcement in schools; and a federal mandate banning chokeholds.   

National Sign-on Letters and Comments 

Please see below for a list of the national letters that NJJN has signed since our last newsletter and see the federal policy page of our website for a complete list:  

  • February 25, 2021 – Forum for Youth Investment sign on letter urging Congress to prioritize youth in the American Rescue Plan, particularly youth and young adults of color and all young people who have grown up in under-resourced urban, rural, and tribal communities.  

  • March 3, 2021 – Sign on letter to Chairman Nadler and members of the House Judiciary Committee urging them to oppose the inclusion of any discretionary bars based on juvenile adjudications or alleged or actual gang participation from any proposed bill language in the 2021 version of the Dream Act (“Act”). 

  • March 4, 2021 – Sign-on letter urging Members of Congress to work together to ensure affordable housing and community development programs receive the highest allocation of discretionary funds possible in fiscal year (FY) 2022.

  • March 11, 2021 – Justice Roundtable sign-on letter to Chairwoman Jackson Lee and Ranking Member Biggs of the House Committee on the Judiciary urging Congress to advance legislation that will end the excesses of mandatory minimum sentencing.

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