On Thursday, June 24th, the Judiciary Committee of the District of Columbia will consider “information sharing” legislation proposed by Councilmember Wells (D-Ward 6). This legislation would open juvenile records for all youth in the juvenile justice system, even youth who have been involved with only minor incidents, and would allow these records to be broadly shared.
Councilmember Wells continues to push for harmful and punitive legislation that will have a racially disparate impact on young African American boys in the District. He appears to believe that broadly sharing juvenile records will provide access to services for youth, but experts believe that these records, once shared, cannott really be really kept confidential, even from media outlets. Broader access to juvenile records will prevent many youth from accessing educational and employment opportunities and will further stigmatize and criminalize youth.
As I understand that the Wells "information sharing" legislation will be considered by the Judiciary Committee on Thursday, June 24th, I urge you to oppose this harmful legislation.
The Wells legislation would open juvenile records for all youth in the juvenile justice system, even youth who have been involved with only minor incidents, and would allow these records to be broadly shared.
Oppose the Wells legislation because it:
--Harms children's futures as it negatively impacts their educational and employment opportunities;
--Stigmatizes children most in need of services;
--Increases racial disparities in DC's juvenile justice system as youth of color will be most impacted by this punitive and harmful legislation.
Please protect youths' futures and improve opportunities for rehabilitation by opposing the Wells legislation and instead by investing in youth programs such as summer youth employment and recreational programs and by inviting youth to provide their input on legislation affecting young people.
Thank you for your consideration.
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