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Petitioning Congress

Replace the sequester cuts with a plan that protects children and families

Critical federal funding is set to take a hit this Friday, March 1, when harmful sequester cuts are scheduled to take effect. Unless Congress acts, an estimated 5.3% across the board cut in federal spending will become law.

Please SIGN this letter, SHARE it with your friends, and CALL or EMAIL your members of Congress TODAY and tell them to pass legislation to replace the sequester cuts with a balanced deficit reduction plan that protects children, families and our economic future.

Tell them it makes no sense to cut funds critical for our food, water and drug safety, public schools and college students, public health, science research, workforce training, law enforcement and public safety, juvenile justice and youth  programs and much more!

Juvenile justice, delinquency prevention, and youth development programs support the state and local prevention and early intervention efforts that keep kids on the right track and contribute to the prevention and reduction of youth crime and violence.

These programs enable communities to provide critical treatment and rehabilitative services, in safe conditions, that are tailored to the needs of juveniles and their families; protects public safety; and, holds youthful offenders accountable.  Additional cuts will threaten these efforts to keep youth and families safe, and keep juvenile crime rates down.

Tell Congress to avoid sequestration and reject cuts that would threaten public safety, and weaken state’s ability to protect children from the dangers of adult jails, to improve safety for youth in custody, and to increase fairness in the justice system.

Let them know what the cuts mean at the local level to real people.

It’s not too late to convince Congress to do the responsible thing for America’s children!

Letter to
Dear Congressperson:
Please act this week to replace sequester cuts scheduled to take effect on March 1, with a balanced deficit reduction plan that protects children, families and our economic future. Further deep cuts in critical juvenile justice funding, including Title II and Title V of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) and the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant (JABG), and many other programs that help at-risk youth and their families will be devastating.

Despite a universally recognized need to further reduce delinquency and improve juvenile justice systems, federal funding has been repeatedly cut over the last decade. Federal funding available to support implementation of the JJDPA and other state and local reforms has steadily declined by 83 percent from 1999 to 2010. If sequestration is allowed to take effect, these programs would be cut by as much as another 5.3% by the end of the week.

Youth in adult prisons are at high risk for physical and sexual abuse as well as suicide, and often lack access to mental health services. Upon release, they face difficulty readjusting to life outside prison and suffer high rates of recidivism. On the other hand, youth served by delinquency prevention programs and community-based alternatives to incarceration – programs supported by JJDPA and JABG – have lower rates of recidivism and are better able to become productive citizens.

We also know that public safety increases with reduced rates of youth crime, extending the benefits of the JJDPA and JABG programs to the entire community. Funding for these programs will also help reduce long-term prison costs. For every $1 spent on prevention and community-based alternatives – placing youth on the right track to success – taxpayers save up to $8 in lifetime criminal justice costs.

Reduced federal investment in effective reforms will only further disadvantage youth in the criminal justice system, increase recidivism rates, decrease public safety, and ultimately cost the public more money in the form of lifetime criminal justice costs.

I am counting on you to replace sequester cuts scheduled to begin on March 1, with a balanced proposal that protects children, families and our economic future.

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